Feb 12, 2014; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Tai Webster (0) defends Illinois Fighting Illini guard Tracy Abrams (13) in the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball: Illinois Drops a Tough One to Nebraska 67-58


It was the Shavon Shields Show tonight in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the Illinois Fighting Illini could not find a way to change it to a different channel no matter how hard they tried. Shields finished the game with a new career high in scoring as he shredded the Illini defense with 33 points. He was 8-12 from the floor, which is excellent, but he was even better from the free throw line as he finished a perfect 15-15 for the game.

Terran Petteway did a fine job in the supporting role tonight for Nebraska. The Huskers leading scorer coming in to this game chipped in 16 points in the victory.

The Illini trailed by 1 at the half, and looked like they were going to give Nebraska all they could handle, but the Cornhuskers pulled away in the second half behind the strength of a 21-13 run covering the final 9:16 of the game. Twelve of those 21 points came at the free throw line. For the game, the Huskers shot 44.2% from the floor, including 33.3% from 3 point range.

Illinois only had one player reach double figures in this game. Rayvonte Rice finished the game with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Kendrick Nunn (9 points) and Malcolm Hill (8 points) followed up their coming out party against Penn State with solid games tonight, but it simply wasn’t enough to overcome the performance by Nebraska.

The Huskers were 24-27 from the free throw line tonight, and they forced 14 Illini turnovers. Illinois managed to win the rebounding battle 36-28.

The Illini (14-11, 3-9 Big Ten) return to action Saturday when they host the #22 Ohio State Buckeyes at 7 pm at the State Farm Center.

You can follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

Tags: Featured Illinois Fighting Illini Kendrick Nunn Malcolm Hill Popular Rayvonte Rice