The Nebraska Cornhuskers came into tonight’s match-up with the Illinois Fighting Illini sizzling, but in the end it was their 5 game winning streak that was fizzling out as the Illini stopped them dead in their tracks by a final score of 60-49.
The Illini forced 15 Husker turnovers and scored 24 points off those turnovers. Illinois also got 11 offensive rebounds and cashed those in for 16 additional points. It was hustle and effort, and Jon Ekey personified that effort as the game was coming to a close by jumping into the crowd to save a ball in an amazing display of pure effort.
Speaking of Ekey, he finally re-emerged tonight scoring 8 points, grabbing 6 rebounds (4 offensive), and registering 3 steals and 1 assist. It was his best performance in quite some time, and he earned 6th man of the game during the broadcast as a result. While it was a great performance by Ekey to be sure, it was once again the Illini freshmen that got the job done while leading the Illini to victory.
Kendrick Nunn led the Illini with 13 points, and Malcolm Hill added 10 points. They combined to go 6-9 from the field including 5-6 from 3 point range. They were also a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line.
Rayvonte Rice also chipped in 10 points as the final double digit Illini performer.
Terran Petteway was the lone Husker in double digits tonight with 13 points.
Illinois won the battle of the boards 34-28, and also the turnover margin while forcing 15 turnovers and only committing 9 themselves.
The Illini return to action Saturday afternoon when they travel to East Lansing to face the Michigan State Spartans in a 3 pm CST contest.
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