Ray "ICE"

Illinois senior hits buzzer beater against Mizzou to lift the Illini to second straight rivalry win.

It came down to the final seconds of regulation for Illinois, but thanks to a big time Rayvonte Rice buzzer-beater, the Illini held on to Braggin' Rights for another year.

It wasn't a clean game by any means. Just when the Illini started to form a lead (their largest of the game was 6 points), miscues would allow the Tigers (5-6) to climb back into the game, and in some instances later in the game, take the lead.

Illinois' struggles from behind-the-arc continued in this one, as the team finished just 3-of-17 from 3PT range in the game, but of those three, none was more important than the final one, as Rayvonte Rice drained a stepback, fade-away three as time expired in the game.

Despite Missouri committing 14 turnovers to Illinois' 8 as well as the Tigers shooting a higher percentage from the field, the Illini found a way to get the victory in what many considered to be a must-win game.

For Illinois, Rice led the way with 19 points on 7 of 15 shooting from the field (2 of 4 from 3PT) and tied guard Aaron Cosby with a team high 7 rebounds.

Senior transfer Ahmad Starks broke out of his recent slump for 13 points on 6-13 shooting (1 of 7 from 3PT). Malcolm Hill also notched a double-digit scoring total with 10 points but had a tough night on defense.

Missouri's scoring effort was very balanced as a team, led by Jonathan Williams, who finished with 15 and 8. Guard Wes Clark had 11 points but also committed 5 turnovers.

Next up for Illinois is Kennesaw State at the State Farm Center prior to launching into Big Ten play.


Illini Inquirer Top Stories