So did the outcome.
Illinois retained the bragging rights for another year as the Illini defeated Missouri for the fourth consecutive season, 75-66, on Wednesday night at Scottrade Center as the Tigers struggled to knock down open shots and couldn’t make the plays they needed to make a difference down the stretch.
“I thought we played well in the second half,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. “I thought the first half they came out and kind of punched us a little bit, but in the second half I think we settled down. We changed our defenses up a little. It comes down to making shots. We had some looks; we couldn’t get them down. That’s kind of been our story the last few weeks.”
Missouri, which lost its third straight game, fell to 5-6 on the season after shooting 36.1 percent from the field (22-61), 31.6 percent from 3-point range (6-19) and 76.2 percent from the free throw line (16-21).
The Tigers, as a team, have shot 41.1 percent or worse from the field in each of their past six games — they are 2-4 during that stretch — and have shot 41.5 percent or worse in all six of their losses this season.
“Not too many people also can say they went 4-0 against Mizzou,” said Hill, who played at Belleville (Ill.) East High School in the St. Louis suburbs. “I can talk about that and brag about that with the rest of the people to come to Illinois. I think that’s pretty cool.”
The Illini, who never trailed in the game, shot 49 percent from the field (24-49), 41.2 percent from 3-point range (7-17) and 66.7 percent from the free throw line (20-30).
Illinois now leads the all-time series between the schools, 31-16, after winning its fourth consecutive Braggin’ Rights matchup.
“It’s special,” Illinois coach John Groce said. “It’s hard to win one of them, let alone four in a row.”
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