National Basketball Association
Illinois 71, Nebraska 64
When: 2:15 PM ET, Saturday, February 2, 2019
Where: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois
# Bo Boroski, # Rob Kueneman, # Steve McJunkins
After failing to score in the past five games, Illinois' Kipper Nichols recorded 18 points and the Fighting Illini hung on to defeat the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers 71-64 on Saturday in Champaign, Ill.
Before Saturday's game, Nichols last scored in a loss to Michigan on Jan. 10. Against the Cornhuskers, he went 7-for-8 from the field, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, and recorded six rebounds and two assists.
Trent Frazier, Illinois' leading scorer at 14.8 points per game, didn't score until 5:09 left in the first half, but finished with 11 points.
Illinois (7-15, 3-8 Big Ten) won for only the second time in five games while Nebraska (13-9, 3-8) lost for the fifth straight game.
James Palmer Jr. led the Cornhuskers with 22 points. But for the second straight game, the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten (19.1) struggled from the field, making only 6 of 20 attempts.
Nebraska was playing its second straight game since losing forward Isaac Copeland to a season-ending knee energy. Tanner Borchardt started in place of Copeland and finished with 12 points and 18 rebounds.
Glynn Watson Jr., the Cornhuskers' assist leader and third-leading scorer, finished with six points but did not record an assist before fouling out.
Illinois jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Borchardt finally got the Huskers on the board with a tip-in off a missed Palmer shot.
Nebraska went on an 18-6 run to take a five-point lead, but the Fighting Illini tied the score at 18-all on a Nichols jumper, then took the lead for good on another Nichols jumper, this time from beyond the arc.
Illinois grabbed a 38-29 lead at the half and opened up a 51-37 lead on an Ayo Dosunmu corner 3-pointer as the shot clock expired.
Watson finally connected, hitting back-to-back baskets, and Nebraska trailed just 54-47 with 10:11 left. But Illinois answered with six straight points to end any serious threat.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
James Palmer Jr. 22
Kipper Nichols 18
Thomas Allen 3
Ayo Dosunmu 2
Tanner Borchardt 18
Kipper Nichols 6
James Palmer Jr. 8
||Free Throws Made
Adonis De La Rosa 5
Nana Akenten 1
Ayo Dosunmu 1
Thomas Allen 1
Giorgi Bezhanishvili 2
Team Stats Summary