Chicagoan Tracy Abrams scored a career-high 27 points and the Illini withstood Auburn nailing a season-high 11 three-pointers en route to ending a three-game losing streak at the United Center.
WHAT THE ILLINI SAID
“That’s the grimiest 80-point game I’ve ever been involved with. Usually, when you talk about a game being grimy, you think of it being in the 40s, 50s. It was just kind of grimy.” — Coach John Groce
WHAT THE TIGERS SAID
“We just have to take care of the basketball, it's plain and simple," he said. "Illinois didn't press us one possession and we ended up with 20 (turnovers)." — coach Tony Barbee
WHAT IT MEANS
The Illini can return to the United Center for the Big Ten tournament in March without having the burden of being winless at the United Center where they had lost five of their last six games before Saturday’s win in front of 18,136.
Big Ten play begins Wednesday at Purdue where Illinois will be looking to end a seven-game losing streak to Matt Painter’s squad. Illinois’ last win at Mackey Arena was a 71-67 overtime win in the 2008-09 Big Ten opener.