Illinois Basketball: 5 observations from the Illini win over Colgate

Colgate v Illinois
Colgate v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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2. Colgate took advantage of the Illini falling asleep in the second half

Illinois took control of the game early on. It was evident through the first few minutes, especially after Illinois took a 14-0 lead, that this wasn’t going to be much of a game.

The Illini players played hard throughout much of the first half and into the second 20 minutes. But there was a moment in the second half when Illinois fell asleep, and Colgate took advantage of some lazy play.

Near the 10-minute mark in the second half, Illinois took the biggest lead of the game at 22 points. That is when the Raiders started chipping away. A 22-point lead quickly became a 10-point lead with over five minutes to go in the game.

Why did the margin narrow so quickly? Illinois got lazy. We started settling for three-point attempts, and the aggression level went plummeting.

From 15:35 to 5:42, Illinois went from being up 22 points to being up 10 points. During that stretch, the Illini were 3-of-16 from the field and 1-of-6 from three-point range, and we only scored nine points. Illinois also had four turnovers and foul during that stretch.

I understand feeling comfortable because of the big lead, but Colgate made this somewhat of a game because Illinois hit the cruise control button a little too early. We took our foot off the gas.