Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Happy 23rd, D.J. Richardson

Four years ago Sunday, coach Bruce Weber’s Illini snapped Wisconsin’s 51-0 home record against unranked Big Ten opponents under coach Bo Ryan with a 63-56 upset at the Kohl Center. It was Illinois’ fifth consecutive win in Madison and ended the Badgers’ 18-game home winning streak. Demetri McCamey scored 27 points and Mike Tisdale added 19 to help Illinois improve to 9-3 in Big Ten action.
Other memorable moments on this date in Illini history:

Feb. 9, 1916: Illinois basketball’s 30-17 win at Chicago marked its record 25th consecutive victory.

Feb. 9, 1946: Jack Smiley became the first of Illinois’ famed “Whiz Kids” to return from the war and into the lineup. His six points helped the UI beat Michigan 49-44 before a record crowd of 7,005 at Huff Hall.

Feb. 9, 1959: First-place Indiana jumped to a 15-0 lead, but Illinois rallied to win at Indiana, 89-83.

Feb. 9, 1980: The largest Assembly Hall crowd ever (16,614) cheered on the Illini as they drilled Isiah Thomas and Indiana 89-68. Reno Gray led Illinois with 25 points.
Feb. 9, 1997: Illinois beat 25th-ranked Iowa for the 10th straight time at the Assembly Hall, 66-51.

Feb. 9, 2000: Former Illini linebacker John Holecek, then a member of the Buffalo Bills, donated $50,000 to Illinois.

Feb. 9, 2002: No. 21 Illinois overcame a 24-7 deficit to beat Purdue 69-67 in Champaign. Brian Cook led the UI’s effort with 22 points.

Feb. 9, 2003: No. 16 Illinois improved its record to 16-4 with a 76-57 win against Ohio State. The Illini led 49-22 at halftime.

Illini birthdays
Sunday: Shanna Pickett, track & field (31)
Monday: Jess Perkins, softball (21)
Tuesday: D.J. Richardson, basketball (23)
Wednesday: Michelle Bartsch, volleyball (24)
Thursday: Evan Wilson, football (22)
Friday: Jerry Ramshaw, football (56)
Saturday: Angela Bizzarri, track & field (26)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @B1GLLL and on Facebook at Big Ten Legends, Lists & Lore

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