UI grade vs. Missouri: A
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Tracy Abrams, Illinois.
Twenty years from now, Illini fans will still be talking about his clutch free throws and the 22 points he scored to end a four-game slide in the Braggin’ Rights series.
Neither side had much success guarding the other, but Abrams, Rayvonte Rice (14 points), Jordan Clarkson (25 points) and Jabari Brown (10) all made huge plays all game.
Nnanna Egwu (seven points) and Jon Ekey (eight points) each made some big three-pointers and Missouri’s big men were held relatively quiet opposite them.
The Tigers only went seven deep and the Illini got major contributions from Kendrick Nunn (three steals) on the defensive end in his 20 minutes as a reserve.
Christmas will be a happy one among the Illinois players and coaches for the first time since 2008 thanks to the signature nonconference win it had been looking for since the season began.