The Illinois Fighting Illini are currently playing the Chicago State Cougars at the State Farm Center in Champaign-Urbana live on the Big Ten Network (610 on Directv, 439 on DISH Network).
The Illini raced out to a 12-2 lead early, but the Cougars then played their way back into the contest, cutting the lead all the way down to 2 with 5:00 left in the half. Following a break in action, Tracy Abrams made a runner and then the defense held on 2 consecutive possessions and the lead was stretched back to 27-21 with 3:31 to go in the half.
With 44.7 seconds remaining, Jaylon Tate drew contact, dropped the shot, and converted the free throw opportunity pushing the lead back to 7 for the Illini. Chicago State held for the last shot of the half and Pippen dribbled it off his leg with 4.3 seconds to play. Tracy Abrams then went the length of the floor on the inbounds, but he had his last second shot rejected and we went in to the half with the aforementioned 7 point lead.
Illinois has turned the ball over 8 times in the first half against Chicago State’s 2-3 zone. They haven’t done a very good job attacking the interior of the zone, and so far it has allowed the Cougars to hang around.
First Half stats:
- Illinois shot 46.2% from the floor on 12-26 shooting and 37.5% from 3 point range on 3-8 shooting.
- Chicago State shot 40.9% from the floor on 9-22 shooting and 36.4% from 3 point range on 4-11 shooting.
- Illinois had an 18-9 rebounding advantage in the first half.
- Each team has 5 Assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, and 8 turnovers.
Joe Bertrand leads the Illini with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.
Chicago State’s Clarke Rosenberg leads all scorers with 8 points.
Illinois needs to attack the zone better in the second half, and needs to limit the turnovers in the second half. If they take care of the ball better and maintain their rebounding advantage they should finish this one off with a W.
Feel free to stick around and comment below during the second half with me.