Don't look at the shooting stats. Those numbers weren't pretty (3 for 13). Still, Abrams filled the post-game sheet with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and zero turnovers. All of his points came in the second half, with Abrams taking over the scoring load with Rayvonte Rice held in check down the stretch.
"I thought the leadership of Abrams, which has been off the charts, was great," Coach John Groce said.
Three stars next in line:
Rice got off to a hot start, scoring 10 of the Illini's first 21 points. He finished with a team-high 15 and grabbed seven rebounds. He hit two of his three attempts on treys and went 7-for-9 at the free throw line. Rice did, however, have a tough time scoring in the second half and committed four turnovers.
The senior enjoyed another productive game, recording 11 points and seven rebounds in his team-leading 32 minutes of action. He's reached at least 11 points in three straight games and is averaging double figures for the first time in his career.
All six of his field goal attempts were 3-pointers, and he knocked down three of them. The senior forward finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. He's now averaging over eight points and nearly six rebounds a game.
"I don't want him passing up shots," Groce said. "… All the guys are encouraging him to continue to shoot the ball. We're better when he's aggressive."