Postgame Notes: Illinois 72, Nebraska 65
March 2, 2013
Illinois 72, Nebraska 65
1. Today's game was Senior Day for five Fighting Illini seniors. Kevin Berardini, Tyler Griffey, Sam McLaurin, Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson all were honored on court prior to the game, their last at Assembly Hall.
2. With today's victory, Illinois improved to 21-9 on the season and 8-8 in the Big Ten, which is tied for sixth place with Minnesota following today's action. The Illini finished 2012-13 home slate 12-4 overall and went 5-4 in conference games. Illinois closes the season with two road games, at Iowa (3/5) and at Ohio State (3/10).
3. Seniors Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson both moved up on the Illinois all-time scoring list today. Paul had 14 points to raise his career total to 1,539 and move past Andy Kaufman (1,533 from 1989-93) for ninth place. Richardson, meanwhile, upped his career total to 1,420 points with 13 today, shooting past Illini greats Kendall Gill (1,409 from 1987-90) and Jerry Hester (1,415 from 1994-98) and into 16th place.
4. Myke Henry scored a season-high 12 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds in 26 minutes today, shooting 4-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point range, and going 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.
5. Five Illini scored in double figures today - Tracy Abrams: 16, Paul: 14, Richardson: 13, Henry, 12, Nnanna Egwu, 10 - marking only the second time that has happened this season (also vs. Wisconsin, 2/3/13)
6. Because Illinois head coach John Groce started his four scholarship seniors and redshirt-junior Joseph Bertrand in today's game, the Illini tallied a season high-tying 38 bench points and out-scored Nebraska 38-0 in the category.
7. The Illini out-rebounded Nebraska 35-26 on the afternoon, including 20-12 in the second half. Illinois also held a 15-11 advantage in second-chance points.
8. After shooting just 38.7 percent (12-of-31) in the first half, the Orange and Blue made 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field in the second half, including 5-of-9 over the game's final six minutes. Illinois also made 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the final 3:20 to seal the victory.
9. With Illinois trailing 57-55, Paul nailed a jumper with 5:39 for the game's 10th tie, then Richardson hit a three-pointer on the Illini's next possession and they never looked back. Illinois used a 15-5 run over 5:46 near the end of the game, holding Nebraska to 2-of-10 shooting during that stretch, to pull away for the 72-65 win.
10. The 50th anniversary of Assembly Hall was celebrated during Saturday's home game, exactly 50 years from when the doors first opened to the $8.35 million architectural marvel on March 2, 1963. To celebrate the historic anniversary, each fan will received a commemorative 50th Anniversary ticket, highlights of great moments at The Hall were shown at each timeout, video was shown of Illini greats and entertainers who performed at The Hall through the years, and a video of the proposed Assembly Hall renovation project was debuted.
11. Today's crowd of 16,618 was the sixth sellout of the season at Assembly Hall.