Illinois Basketball: 3 observations from the Illini loss to Rutgers

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Illinois basketball

PISCATAWAY, NJ – FEBRUARY 15: Head coach Brad Underwood of the Illinois Fighting Illini reacts to a play during the second half of a college basketball game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 15, 2020 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Rutgers defeated Illinois 72-57. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Illinois basketball team needed to turn the tides on Saturday but failed to take down the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Illinois competed for most of the game. Five minutes into the game, we were only down 9-4. That deficit was quickly erased, and the Illini had the lead 14-13 with 10 minutes to go until halftime. There were a ton of lead changes throughout the game. Rutgers managed to pull ahead by five points at 28-23 with five minutes to go in the first half.

A little run by Illinois helped tie the game up at 32-32 with a little over a minute to go until halftime. Rutgers then made one more shot. The Scarlet Knights went into the halftime locker room up 34-32 on the Orange and Blue.

Rutgers started hot out of the locker room making a few shots, but Illinois came back strong. With 15 minutes to go in the game, the deficit was only one point with the Illini down 43-42. From that point, the Illini started to struggle scoring the ball.

The Scarlet Knights went on an 11-0 run to get the score up to 54-42. At this point, the game was pretty much over. The closest we would get it from there was back to a seven-point deficit. Rutgers managed to get it back to 15 points by the end of the game, though. The Scarlet Knights would win the game 72-57.

Here are three observations from the Illini loss to Rutgers.

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