It was Closer than the Score

<b>Illinois</b> came out red hot as the United Center sounded like Champaign-Urbana...<br><br> But a stubborn <b>Wildcat</b> team kept chipping away at the Illini lead. But it was not to be a major upset this year as Illini Coach <b>Bill Self</b> got his 200th win as head basketball coach of Illinois...

It was that kind of a game....
The Illini came out shooting over 90% from the field, and jumped out to a big lead.

But they couldn't continue the pace, and the Wildcats fought back, closing to within 2 points before Brian Cook took matters into his own hands, and closed the doors on the Wildcats with less than 2 minutes left as Aaron Jennings fouled out.

Three Wildcats were in double figures as Senior Forward Jason Burke led the Wildcats with 15 points and 3 Rebounds. Jennings and T.J. Parker hit for 13. Mohamed Hachad hit 3-6 for 9 points, Jitim Young, who was shut out in the first half, hit 3-8 and a FT for 7. Winston Blake and Davor Duvancic hit a basket each.

Jennings led in rebounds with 7, T.J. Parker had 5. Both players had 4 assists in the losing cause.

Sophomore Roger Powell had a career high of 20 points for the Illini, most in the first half. He was jointed in double figures by Deron Brown with 18 points and Brian Cook with 17. Cook also had 10 rebounds.

Illinois Coach Bill Self [AP Photo left - Mike Fisher] won his 200th game against the Wildcats today. The Illini dropped off to barely 55% shooting by the end of the contest.

A server failure by WGN prevented Purple Reign from bringing you transcripts of NU Coach Bill Carmody's post game comments.

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