Illinois: 73 Nebraska: 57

Illinois used a strong second half to pull away from Nebraska on Sunday night.


*-Tai Webster reached double figures for the 29th straight game, finishing with 17 points, along with team highs in rebounds (eight), assists (five) and steals (four).

*-With 17 points tonight,  Webster passed Cary Cochran (1,081; 1999-2002) for 26th on NU’s career scoring list,  as Webster now has 1,085 career points.

*-Webster’s four steals matched his season high set at Indiana (12/28) and vs. Iowa (1/5)

*-Illinois’ 13 3-pointers were the second-highest total allowed by Nebraska this season (14, Purdue). Over the previous three games, NU had limited its opponents to just 13-of-52 (.250) from 3-point range.

*-Nebraska enjoyed a 34-31 advantage on the boards, and has been out-rebounded once in its last eight contests.

Head Coach Tim Miles
On the structure of the defense
“There’s a lot of things that went into it tonight, but there is a reason this happens. You only get so lucky so many times. I thought tonight, for instance, our carelessness with the ball lead into some easy threes. I thought we lost our discipline defensively several times, to me several is like six or seven that led to open shots and they hit three or four threes there. We doubled the post some and gave one up there, so that’s schematic for sure. I was very conservative tonight, we had one day of practice. I felt like maybe we should take some of our bigger wings off a guy like Coleman-Lands or even Abrams, but Abrams came in shooting 17.8% from three and he goes four for five. But, after he made two it doesn't matter if he’s shooting 1%, you’ve got to get to him. I was really slow to get my point guard off Lucas, bring a bigger wing onto Lucas who’s more of a non-threat from three and you’ve just got to stay in front of him. And that hurt us, too because then I put our guys in some bad situations.”

On Glynn Watson’s performance
“I think part of it was Lucas, and Glynn will ruminate, too. He’ll overthink it a bit, and he ran away from the ball about three or four times in the second half where he gave it to Tai early for Tai to initiate offense and that tells you something without telling you anything. I thought they did a really good job on him, they obviously made him a huge key.

Michael Jacobson and Jeriah Horne
On Illinois’
 three pointers
 “I guess I don’t know, we’ll have to go back and look at it on the film. It’s hard to say, there’s only so many times you can blame it on that. You’ve gotta start looking at yourselves and start looking in the mirror a bit.

On the defensive structure
 To be honest, I don't think we need a structural change because if you look at other teams that play the pack (line), Virginia probably being the most notorious one, they seem to do a pretty good job every year. They seem to always be really good and always be in the NCAA tournament and making runs there. I don’t think it’s anything structurally, I think we’ve got to figure it out. I don’t know what was happening, I was under the basket a little bit more so I wasn’t able to see everything and what was going on, so it’d be hard to say. I don’t know, we’ve got to figure that out.

On the pre-game mindset
 “I thought we had a good practice yesterday, I thought we had a solid game plan going into it. I felt like we had it pretty well scouted like ‘this is what they’re gonna do, this is what they’re gonna run, this is what each player does. So, I felt like we did the right things, and I don’t know if we’re in a funk right now or what’s going on. Disappointed isn’t even the right word to get beat like we just did on the road and then come back here and have a big game. We were both six in nine and you’re fighting to stay out of the first day of playing, and to come out and do that, disappointed is not the right word.”

On the second half
 “Coach and I were talking about it and I think sometimes we get so caught up in trying to hang in the game, that rather than being the one to attack first and come at them rather than sustaining punches rather than just with retaliation. I think that’s just one thing we’ve got to get better at, and you know it’s a process. We’ll get there.”

On whether or not they got the shots they wanted
 I feel like at times we did. I know their zone kind of slowed us down a little bit when they changed that the first half. In the second half, I feel like they didn’t really run too much more zone because we started to get a feel for it. Especially when we’ve got the ball up high we’ve got to duck down to Jordy, that’s one of the plays that stands out to me. So, I think we can always get better looks but I think for the most part we had pretty good looks.”

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