Feb. 5, 2012
Northwestern 74, Illinois 70
Illinois Postgame Notes
Feb. 5, 2012 // Assembly Hall, Champaign, Ill. // Attendance: 15,461
1. This was the eighth-straight game (4-4) decided by five or fewer points for the Illini, the longest in the nation this season and tied for the longest streak in program history. Illinois also had eight consecutive contests decided by five or fewer points in 1929.
2. Overall, Illinois has had 12 games decided by five or fewer points (7-5) this season, which is tied with Louisiana Tech for the most in Division I.
3. Brandon Paul led the Illini with 22 points while hitting six three-pointers. Paul, who entered the game leading the Big Ten in scoring during conference play (19.8), has scored double-digits in every Big Ten game this season and is now averaging 20.0 points per conference contest.
4. Meyers Leonard and Joseph Bertrand also reached double-figures for Illinois. Leonard hit his first nine shots and finished with 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor, also grabbing a game-high nine rebounds and blocking a pair of Northwestern shots. Bertrand scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including the first pair of made three-pointers in his collegiate career.
5. Starting point guard Tracy Abrams dished out a career-high eight assists during the contest, the most by an Illini during a single game on the season.
6. Illinois shot better than 50% in a game for the eighth time this season. The Illini went 26-for-48 (54.2%) against Northwestern, marking their second-best shooting performance during conference play (Ohio State, 60.0%).
7. As a team, the Illini tied the most three-pointers hit in a single game this season with 11. Illinois also connected on 11 threes against #5 Ohio State during a 79-74 win on Jan. 10. The Illini hit 11-of-24 for the game (45.8%), the second-highest percentage from downtown on the season (Ohio State, 61.1%).
8. The Illini recognized a pair of former coaches prior to the start of the game as part of the Illinois Basketball Honored Coaches Program. Banners for Ralph Jones (1913-20) and Doug Mills (1937-47) were raised to the rafters to join those of Lou Henson and Harry Combes.