Illinois Basketball: Illini MVP of the game against Rutgers

The Illinois basketball team pulled out a hard-fought win against Rutgers 54-51 on Saturday afternoon.

The game was great defensively for both teams, and not many players had a good performance because of this fact. But there are two MVP’s for the Illini today.

Illinois played a good game on the defensive side of the court as that was a big reason they won. The two MVP’s for the win over Rutgers are Ayo Dosunmu and the Illini defense.

Ayo Dosunmu had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists while shooting 1-of-2 from three-point range and 5-of-11 from the field. He was one of the two players to score in double-digits for the Illini, Kofi Cockburn being the other player.

Ayo did a great job in transition and in half-court sets. He also did a good job of getting to the line as he shot 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. His ability to get his mid-range jumper to fall was also a big reason for the Illini victory.

The reason I gave the Illini defense co-MVP was the fact they played their hearts out against Rutgers. Illinois held Rutgers to 20-of-59 shooting from the field and 8-of-23 from the three-point arc.

The Illini really needed to play great defense as they went through scoring droughts on the offensive end during the 1st and 2nd half. They did a good job of communicating and rotating on defense, which affected some shots that Rutgers was going to take.

The thing that most impressed me the most about this defensive performance was that Illinois did a good job of playing defense without fouling. Rutgers only shot eight free throws the entire game.

Next: Did the Michigan State loss change the Illini?

Illinois improved to a12-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten. Hopefully, they can carry this great defense into the next game against Northwestern.

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