Illinois Basketball: 4 big statistics from the Illini victory over Minnesota

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Illinois basketball

Feb 16, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Andre Curbelo (5) celebrates after his team scores against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at the State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois basketball went into The Barn and, once again, completely dismantled the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

This wasn’t a fair fight, as Illinois took a 15-point halftime lead and never looked back. That lead would eventually turn into a 31-point thumping. The Illini came away with another double-digit win over the Gophers, 94-63.

Here are four big statistics from the Illini victory over Minnesota.

1. +8

It was an ugly game from pretty much the tip on Saturday. Illinois controlled the entire day, and a lot of the dominance had to do with being a more efficient team.

Illinois hasn’t been terribly efficient this season. In fact, when it comes to turnovers, the Illini were one of the worst teams entering the Minnesota game. We were averaging 13.6 turnovers per game, which ranked No. 204 in the nation. Illinois shocked the Gophers with their efficiency, though.

The Illini had a turnover margin of +8 against Minnesota on Saturday.

I was a little surprised to see Illinois play one of their cleanest games of the season. They won the turnover battle with only 10 turnovers while the Gophers had 18 turnovers on the day. This margin helped take Illinois from beating Minnesota soundly to beating them by 31 points.

In addition to the turnover margin helping Illinois win the game, it was also the biggest turnover margin the Illini have had this season. The two games that are in a tie for second were the second win over Indiana and the loss to Missouri. Both of these games had a +5 turnover margin.

If Illinois can float around the +8 turnover margin throughout the rest of the 2020-21 campaign, then special things are about to happen. Let’s continue this great efficiency.

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