Postgame Notes - Illinois 81, Minnesota 72 (2OT)
Dec. 27, 2011
Illinois 81, Minnesota 72 (2OT)
1. With the win, Illinois is now 9-0 at home this season and has won 12 consecutive contests at Assembly Hall dating back to last season. The victory also marks the fourth consecutive Big Ten opener Illinois prevailed in.
2. Against Minnesota, the Illini won their 15th straight December home game, improving to 33-3 at home in the month under head coach Bruce Weber.
3. The victory marks Illinois' first double-overtime win since the 1992-93 season when the Orange and Blue downed #17 Purdue, 78-70, on Feb. 25.
4. Illinois outscored Minnesota in the second overtime period, 11-2, to secure the victory, with Brandon Paul coming through with six points to lead the charge and finish with a team- and season-high 21 points. Paul tied a career high with six assists against the Gophers, matching the UI season high in the process and played a personal-best 48 minutes during the game, 11 more than his previous high (37 vs. Gonzaga, 1/2/10)
5. Meyers Leonard earned another double-double, his fifth for the Orange and Blue, netting 20 points and 11 rebounds. In his previous three games, Leonard is averaging 17.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks while shooting 61.8 percent from the field (21-of-34). Leonard also played a career-high 42 minutes, eclipsing his previous best of 38 achieved twice, most recently against Missouri on Dec. 22, 2011.
6. Joseph Bertrand turned in another high quality shooting performance following his 19-point outburst against Missouri, scoring 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field against the Gophers. In the previous two games, Bertrand has hit 15-of-19 attempts (78.9 percent) while, during the two-game span, Bertrand connected on 13 consecutive shots, including all nine attempts against Missouri.
7. The win in overtime marked the first extra-minutes contest of the season for the Illini and improved the Orange and Blue to 10-6 in overtime games under Weber. The contest was the first overtime game between Illinois and Minnesota since Feb. 22, 1995 and first double-overtime contest since March 13, 1983 - a span of 52 games in the series.
8. Five Illini scored in double figures on the contest, only the second time on the 2011-12 season as many Orange and Blue players reached 10 or more points (Chicago State, Nov. 27). Paul led the way with 21, while Leonard (20), Bertrand (13), D.J. Richardson (13) and Sam Maniscalco (10) all reached double digits.
9. The Illini out-rebounded Minnesota, 42-35, on the contest - including grabbing a 7-1 margin during the final overtime period.
10. The Illini built a 37-27 halftime lead through an all-around defensive effort after Minnesota opened 5-of-10 from the field to tie the game at 9-9 with 15:34 remaining. The Orange and Blue clamped down over the remainder of the half, holding the Gophers to three more field goals on 23 attempts (13.0 percent). For the entire frame, the Orange and Blue blocked five shots, caused seven turnovers and grabbed 19 rebounds, including 16 off the defensive glass.