Illini Wonk
Sunday, March 12, 2006
  Cold second half shooting send Illini home early
The three-point attempt from Dee Brown with 40 seconds left was indicative of Illinois' second half against Michigan State. A well executed out-of-bounds play left him with a good look but he couldn't hit the shot.

From this blogger's perspective, the Illini didn't play too poorly, but the shots weren't falling in the second half. The Illini shot 38.5 percent over the final 20 minutes of the Big Ten Tournament game, including 1-9 from behind the three-point line.

The loss doesn't bother Mark Tupper as much as it will many fans. He believes that the Fighting Illini will respond since seniors James Augustine and Brown don't want their careers to end this next week.

The player of the game for Illinois was clearly Augustine. Tupper said he was a "warrior" and his final stat line of 16 points and 15 rebounds bear that out. He came into the game only needing three rebounds to become the first Illinois player (12th in the Big Ten) to join the elite 1,000-point, 1,000-rebound club.

Now, for the first time in the event's nine-year history, Illinois won’t be playing in the Big Ten Conference Tournament semifinals. For more of the news coverage, click here.
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