Illinois 85 Texas 78 (OT) : Boxscore breakdown

Following a tough conference loss at Maryland, Illinois bounced back with an impressive 85-78 overtime win over Texas. The opening game of Tuesday’s Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden saw the Illini improve to 7-2 overall while number two ranked Texas suffered their first loss and is now 6-1.

Possessions: 80- A quick pace with the extra session saw Illinois jump into an early lead forcing Texas into a fouling mode to extend the contest and add a few possessions.

Offensive Efficiency: Illinois 106, Texas 97. On the season Chris Beard’s Longhorns are averaging 114 efficiency. Holding them below the century mark speaks well for the Illini defensive effort.

What Illinois did well. Battle back. Texas held a 10 point lead with over eight minutes remaining and appeared to be in the driver’s seat. listed Illinois’ chance of winning at that juncture as 4.2%. Brad Underwood’s group kept after it and didn’t panic. In the overtime session, as noted, they jumped out to the lead gaining a wave of momentum they rode to a nice win.

What Texas did well. Distribute. Longhorns assisted on 20 of their 29 (69%) field goals. Timmy Allen led the way with a game high 8 assets while teammate Marcus Carr handed out five. Defensively they forced Illinois into 17 turnovers, a 21% TO rate- a figure above the 20% rate you hope your offense would avoid.

Leading scorers:

Texas- Allen 21, Tyrese Hunter 10.

Illinois- Matthew Mayer 21, Terrence Shannon 16, Jayden Epps 11.

Narrowly missing double figure scoring were the Illini’s Coleman Hawkins and RJ Melendez. Both contributed significantly and Hawkins, a 6’10" junior, logged a game high 42 minutes.

On the night Illinois had almost twice as many turnovers (17) as assists (11). They also missed ten free throws going 21 of 31 (67%) from the charity stripe. Illinois did block 12 shots. Underwood’s group did come up big in an area that cannot be measured with any statistic or numbers, heart. They battled, competed and simply found a way to pull this one out. On a grand stage, The 'World's Most Famous Arena', to boot.

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