Trent Meacham led Illinois with 21 points on Senior Day. (AP Photo/John Dixon)
March 8, 2008
Illinois (13-18, 5-13 Big Ten) used an early second half run to pull away from the Golden Gophers, who were coming off a 69-55 loss to No. 18 Indiana on Wednesday.
After leading by one point at halftime, Illinois was propelled by a 10-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Meacham. Minnesota, however, tried to make a run of its own but Meacham hit another 3-pointer and Brock added a basket to push Illinois' lead to 57-49.
Blake Hoffarber led Minnesota with 14 points and six rebounds. Lawrence McKenzie and Lawrence Westbrook each added 10 points.
Minnesota fell to 18-12 and 8-10 in Big Ten play.
Illinois led 18-11 off a Calvin Brock jumper with 8:37 to play in the first half. The Golden Gophers fought back to take a brief 22-21 lead, but Illinois ended the first half with a 27-26 advantage. Minnesota shot 50 percent from the field on 9-of-18 shooting, while Illinois shot 33.3 percent (9-of-27).
Illinois also managed 14 second-chance points in the first half, compared to only three by Minnesota, and had a 22-9 rebounding advantage.