It was over when: Tigers point guard Phil Pressey found Laurence Bowers for a dunk with a minute left to play. The powerful slam gave Missouri a five-point lead. Illinois senior Tyler Griffey missed a 3-pointer on the subsequent possession, with a Pressey layup on the other end signaling the end of the Illini's chances.
Illinois player of the game: Brandon Paul. The senior guard finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists. While struggling to shoot the ball, Paul was effective in the first half driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line, where he finished 11-for-14. He scored 16 points in the first half, but wasn't as active on the offensive end in the final period. He finished 5-of-18 from the game, including 2-of-8 from downtown.
Missouri player of the game: Bowers. The forward led his team with 23 points and 10 rebounds and added four assists. He shot 10-of-18 from the field and, joined by Jabari Brown (18 points), carried the Tigers in scoring production.
Worth noting: Illinois' Nnanna Egwu. The sophomore big finished with a season-high 12 points and nine rebounds, six of which were on the offensive glass.
Missouri's Pressey. The point guard had a terrible shooting performance (3-of-19), but still scored 12 points. More importantly, he dished out 11 assists and controlled the pace for most of the game. Pressey is routinely cited as one of the better point guards in the nation and for good reason. Even on off nights, his on-court presence is still glaring.
Stat of the game: 3-point shooting. The Illini entered as one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, but struggled for downtown throughout much of the game. The team finished 8-of-32 (25 percent) as key figures Paul and D.J. Richardson combined to shoot 3-of-17. Meanwhile, the Tigers weren't impressive from deep either (hitting only five), but took 13 less shots from that range.
The takeaway: Illinois is unbeaten no more, but the Illini shouldn't get down on themselves. The team played hard an,d despite poor play in a few areas, was in position to win with less than five minutes to play. The game provided a look at how Illinois matches up with a bigger, physical team. The Tigers were better on the boards by a wide margin (58-35) and the Illini struggled to do what they do best -- shoot the 3. In the end, the missed shots made it hard to overcome the disadvantage in the post. Still, Illinois has exceeded expectations to this point and should enter conference play with a 13-1 record. All things considered, that's a great start for John Groce and his program.