Sure it was an early November, out-of-conference mismatch, but the Illini fans were still getting to know the new transfer Jon Ekey when Valparaiso came to town. Ekey wowed the crowd with a buzzer-beating 3 to end the first half and pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds as the Illini cruised to a win.
Nov. 17, 2013 - Illinois 81, Bradley 55 - Ekey drops 19.
Ekey showed he could score and stretch the floor, sinking five treys and posting 19 points in a dominating win over Bradley. He hit 5 of 7 from the 3-point line and grabbed seven rebounds. It was the first of two consecutive games with 19 points, his best total of the season.
Dec. 8, 2013 - Illinois 81, Auburn 62 - Ekey, Illini run Auburn out of Atlanta
Ekey drilled 5 of 7 three-pointers as the Illini blasted the Auburn Tigers in Atlanta's Philips Arena. Ekey finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists as the Illini got back in the win column after a disappointing loss at Georgia Tech.
March 8, 2014 - Illinois 66, Iowa 63 - ‘Got it, he got it.'
Ekey released a successful 3 to break a tie and win the game, stunning the crowd in Iowa City and continuing a late-season surge for the Illini. Still adjusting to his new role off the bench, Ekey was on the court when it mattered most. He set a pick for Tracy Abrams, received a pass and launched a contested look with less than a second remaining. The shot was true and his teammates mobbed him soon after. He finished with 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting and six rebounds.
March 23, 2014 - Clemson 50, Illinois 49 - Not ready to leave.
Ekey scored the final six points of the season for the Illini, drilling two 3s to keep chances alive at Clemson in the NIT. Trailing by three with less than four minutes to play, coach John Groce drew up a play for Ekey coming out of a timeout. The senior did the job, knotting the game at 46. Later, down by two, Tracy Abrams found Ekey again, this time for a go-ahead trey. The Illini were unable to find Ekey on either of the last two possessions of the game as the Tigers held on for a one-point win. Ekey finished his final game with 11 points, his final two shots both perfect and a display of the team's never-counted-out mentality it became known for late in the season.