Illinois Basketball: 3 observations from the Illini loss to Miami

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Illinois basketball

CHAMPAIGN, IL – DECEMBER 02: Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood calls a timeout during the college basketball game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Illinois Fighting Illini on December 2, 2019, at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Illinois basketball team took on the Miami Hurricanes on Monday night for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

I was expecting the Illini to come into this game and come away with a win. In fact, I believe we needed to win this game based on the upcoming schedule. That didn’t happen, though.

Illinois started this game off in the worst way possible. About three and a half minutes into the game, Miami already had a 12-5 lead. That lead would extend rapidly. The Hurricanes hit their first 10-point lead just over five minutes into the game at 17-7.

With 10 minutes to go in the first half, Miami would get the lead up to 20 points at 31-11. This was such an ugly stretch for the Illini. We fought back, though. While the score almost got up to a 30-point deficit, the Illini managed to get it back to a 19-point game at halftime.

Miami would extend the lead to 22 points early in the second half, but Illinois wasn’t done. We showed resolve and with 7:07 left in the game, the Illini were only down nine points. That deficit continued to get chipped away until, with 46-seconds remaining, Illinois pulled within one point.

Sadly, thanks to an offensive foul, Illinois couldn’t manage to take the lead. Miami came away with the win 81-79.

Here are three observations from the Illini loss to Miami.

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