Abrams willed the Illini back in the game late in the first half, scoring nine of the team's 13 points to re-take the lead after trailing by nine. The junior finished with a team-high 13 points and added five assists and two rebounds.
Three stars next in line:
Bertrand was an efficient 4-of-5 from the floor, scoring 11 points in 31 minutes of action. He added three rebounds and two steals, but missed free throws proved costly down the stretch. He was 3-for-6 from the charity stripe.
freshman played only 13 minutes, but he made the most of his time on the floor. He had seven points and five rebounds, a clear statement that he might warrent more playing time when it matters most.
Another spark off the bench, Nunn had eight points in 12 minutes. The freshman hit 3 of his 6 looks and provided his usual stingy defense.
"Kendrick and Malcolm I thought were good for us," Groce said. "They shot well and were aggressive."