Halftime Analysis: Illinois v. UIC

UIC shoots their way to a 10 point halftime lead. Here are a few of the keys so far and what could happen in the second half.

The Score:
UIC: 44
Illinois: 34

Say it in a sentence…

UIC shot the mess out of the ball.

Seriously, they were over 60% for a majority of the first half and for a while couldn't miss from outside. Wild floaters and contested 3's were falling for the flames. Question is, can they keep that up in the second half.

Player of the half...

Kelsey Barlow was on another level in the first half. Barlow finished the first 20 minutes with just about as many points (18) and everything UIC did essentially ran through him. The former Purdue Boilermaker had his way with what's been a suffocating Illinois defense all year.

How Illinois can win…

Halftime defensive adjustments will be a big deal. The perimeter defense will need to really step up in order to slow down UIC's hot outside shooting. Also, Rayvonte Rice has 12 of Illinois' first half points, which is right on par, but they may need someone else to step up and pour in some points. Illinois needs to come out on fire and get UIC on their heels. Command of this game will be key in the 2nd half for Illinois to win.

How Illinois can lose…

Pretty much the opposite. If the defense can't get some stops, especially in the first four minutes of the second half, UIC could open up the lead to the point where Illinois is playing catchup to the end. Illinois really isn't shooting bad from the field overall. The Illini are 48% from the field, but only 28.6% from beyond the arc. Perimeter shooting hasn't been their strong suit this season, but they may need to get a few to fall to close the gap.

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