Illini grade vs. Gophers: B

Our breakdown of Thursday's 51-49 win against Minnesota at the Big Ten tournament:

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Brandon Paul, Illinois.

There’s no other choice. The senior’s dagger at the buzzer secured the win and removed the little bit of doubt folks had about the Illini getting an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.

Illinois B
Minnesota A

The Hollinses carried the Gophers and Paul’s heroics (25 points) lifted the Illini, who got a big three-pointer from D.J. Richardson in the final minute.

Illinois C
Minnesota C

Nnanna Egwu and Tyler Griffey combined to score 10 points with eight boards, but they hld Minnesota’s bigs (13 points, nine boards) in check.

Illinois B
Minnesota C

Sam McLaurin’s forced turnover late set the stage for the final play of the game and Joseph Bertrand returned from a shoulder injury with productive minutes.

Illinois B
Minnesota C

The low score isn’t attractive, but Illinois’ defense stymied the Gophers and limited them to a season-low 16 points at the half. This time of year, it’s all about hanging Ws.

Comments embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments