Illinois-Gonzaga Full-Court Vision: Live Blogging, Commentary & Analysis


Illinois defeats Gonzaga 73-61 in what was essentially a road game against a top-25 team.

The Illini followed up their UNC win with a very solid performance, thus avenging last season’s overtime loss to the Bulldogs.

Illinois got hot from beyond the arc in the second half and extended a 6-point halftime lead to 20 at one point.

Once again, Illinois’ scoring balance was on display.

Mike Tisdale and D.J. Richardson led the Illini with 15 points apiece.

Demetri McCamey added 11 points and Brandon Paul had 10 points after going scoreless against Carolina.

Mike Davis scored 10 points and Bill Cole chipped in 8 points off the bench.

Through nine games, the Illini are an impressive 8-1 and arguably could be undefeated had it closed out Texas late in regulation.

All and all, the Illini have been very solid in the 2010-2011 season, leaving little room for complaints.

Check back before Wednesday’s Oakland game for an analysis of Illinois-Gonzaga.

Final Score: Illinois wins 73-61.

Tisdale passes 1,000 points for his career.

Illinois plays great defense from the Illini with only a minute remaining.

Demetri McCamey just tied Deron Williams for 3rd most assists all time for the Illini.

6:10 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 69-57 with 2:30 remaining.

With 2:30 remaining and the Illini up 12, the Bulldogs start fouling.

Illinois is shooting 80% from the line tonight.

They need to keep a good percentage here to prevent Gonzaga from getting back to single digits.

6:07 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 67-57 with 6:30 remaining.

That was a good timeout by Weber. The momentum was totally on Gonzaga’s side.

Illinois hasn’t scored in more than four minutes, and the lead has been cut to 10.

Gonzaga has narrowed the lead to 12 with an 8-0 run and continues to beat Illinois in rebounding.

6:00 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 67-52.

Illinois has really slowed down the tempo after those threes exploded its lead to 20. It is good to run down the clock, but there is still plenty of time and the Illini can’t get complacent.

Goodson is back in the game. Illinois should keep his four fouls in mind and attack him.

Tisdale did some damage from behind the arc early in the half but remains totally ineffective in the post.

5:53 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 65-47 with 11 minutes remaining.

Gonzaga looks tired. The foul trouble keeping players on the bench is starting to have an effect.

The Illini are falling in love with the three right now. While such shot selection is not the best choice, it is hard to fault them when they are hitting everything they throw up.

5:47 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 56-41 with 12:30 remaining.

Illinois is raining threes on the Bulldogs, and Gonzaga is still leaving people open behind the arc.

Illinois picks up its fifth team foul with over 13 minutes remaining. The Illini need to be careful as the Bulldogs are already almost to the bonus.

Gonzaga switches to a 3-2 zone to try and slow down Illinois.

Illinois continues to struggle to rebound. The Illini will have a hard time continuing to shoot this well from behind the arc, and will have to stop giving up the second-chance shots if they want to keep the lead.

5:38 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 48-39 at the 15 minute mark.

Sacre has really stepped up this half. He is getting everything he wants under the basket, and already has 7 points out of halftime.

Brandon Paul picks up two more quick fouls, bringing him to three.

Goodson picks up his fourth foul with more than 16 minutes remaining. This should force Gonzaga to play without their starting point guard for much of this half.

5:30 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 42-32 at the 17:40 mark.

Demetri Goodson picks up a quick third foul; the longer the Illini can keep him on the bench, the better.

Tisdale hits 2 big threes to start the half — a great way to grab the momentum early.

5:15 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 34-28 at the half.

Apologies for the break in the live coverage; the server was temporarily down.

Gonzaga kept the game close by forcing Demetri McCamey to the bench with his second foul with five minutes left, but solid play from the rest of the Illini and foul trouble on several Bulldogs allowed Illinois to extend its lead going into the half.

Five Gonzaga players head into the half with two fouls. Foul trouble could come into play late in the game if it stays close or goes into overtime as it did last year.

Brandon Paul has done well taking over for McCamey, after a few bad passes early, he leads the team with 10 points and has an assist and a block.

The Illini were out rebounded 19-12 in the first half, including being outrebounded 6-4 on the offensive rebounds.

Tisdale is struggling underneath against the bigger Robert Sacre. Tisdale has been held to 4 points and 2 rebounds while picking up 2 fouls and allowing Sacre to grab 5 rebounds.

Gonzaga’s Elias Harris leads the team in scoring off the bench with 12 points, but no other player on the Bulldogs has more than 4 points.

Jereme Richmond has been put on Harris and is getting after him; the two had to be separated earlier for jawing off after the whistle.

4:48 p.m. Update: Illinois and Gonzaga are tied at 18 at the under-8 timeout.

A mini 4-0 run has sparked the Illini.

D.J. Richardson just made a layup and will get a free throw out of the break.

Illinois is in this game due to its ability to get some interior buckets out of the transition game.

Elias Harris hardly looks like he’s hurting, scoring 6 quick points.

Gonzaga is the more physical team thus far.

Mike Tisdale is getting pushed around inside.

Illinois is struggling to clear the defensive board, which was a problem in the first half against North Carolina.

The offense also has very poor ball movement.

4:37 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 12-10 at the under-12.

The Illini have been cold from the outside but have scored 8 points on the interior, including 6 in the transition game.

With that said, both teams haven’t woken up yet.

It’s been a really choppy first eight minutes.

4:36 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 12-10 with a little more than 12 minutes to go.

Gonzaga has taken a timeout as this game has been really sloppy.

Both teams are chucking up shots and missing.

Harris has checked in and scored on his first shot.

Illinois is struggling inside with Sacre, which was the case last season.

4:28 p.m. Update: Illinois trails 8-7 with 15:54 to go in the first half.

The Illini have struggled a bit with transition defense and perimeter shooting early on.

Gonzaga point guard Demetri Goodson has picked up two quick fouls.

Mike Tisdale just picked up a foul down low guarding Robert Sacre, who scored on the previous possession.

Illinois starts Brandon Paul instead of Bill Cole.

Gonzaga starts Kelly Olynyk for Elias Harris, who is battling an ACL injury.

It has not been announced on the broadcast whether Harris will play.

Looking to avenge last season’s disappointing loss at the usually favorable United Center, the Illinois men’s basketball team will face the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 4:15 p.m. central time in Seattle.

The game will air on ESPN immediately after Butler-Duke.

After beating North Carolina earlier in the week, thanks to a tremendous second half from Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale, Illinois will need to bring its hard hats down low to offset Gonzaga’s tough front line of Elias Harris and Robert Sacre.

However, with the exception of Gonzaga senior guard Stephen Gray, Illinois has a clear advantage on the perimeter.

While winning on a neutral court that is essentially a home game for the Zags (as was the case for Illinois during last season’s contest in Chicago) will be no easy task, expect the Illini to earn a very mature victory, 78-73.

Writing Illini will not be doing a live play-by-play but will share some thoughts after each television timeout.

Until later on.