Illinois’ Tracy Abrams hit two free throws with four second remaining to give the Illini a 65-64 upset victory over the 23rd ranked Missouri Tigers in the 33rd edition of the Braggin’ Rights game at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Abrams led Illinois with 22 points. Jordan Clarkson led all scorers with 25 points.
AUDIO Post game comments from Frank Haith and players Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson (7:30)
Second half highlights
–Great ball fake by Clarkson driving to the basket, then scored on a breakout dunk to tie the game at 35-35 in the first 2:30 of the half. Clarkson was outscoring Illinois 7-6 in the first 4:23 of the half as Mizzou found themselves down 37-36.
–Missouri was getting to the free throw line, attempting ten shots, while Illinois had just three attempts for the whole game with 13 minutes to play. Mizzou went into the bonus with 12:40 to play.
–The Tigers tied the game at 44-44 on Jordan Clarkson free throws. Thus far, Missouri is 7 for 11 from the line in this half.
–A Jabari Brown three-pointer gave Mizzou their first lead since 5:36 of the first half.
–Abrams made a short jumper and completed a three-point play to end a near, five-minutes scoring drought for Illinois. Mizzou was able to take a 53-49 lead with under nine minutes to play.
–Mizzou went the first eight minutes with no fouls called against them. In a span of the next six minutes, the Tigers were whistled eight times. An Abrams jumper gave Illinois a 55-53 lead with under six minutes to play.
–Clarkson ended a near five-minute drought for Mizzou with a three-pointer to put the Tigers back up 56-55 with 4:35 to play.
–Ross hits two free throws to make it a one point Illinois lead with 2:30 to play. Then Ross hit a three from the corner after an Illinois miss to give the Tigers a two-point game.
–Jon Ekey, from Independence, Mo., put Illinois up 62-61 with a three-pointer in the final minute. An ill-advised forced layup by Ross, forced Mizzou to foul. Rayvonte Rice hit one of two to make it a 63-61 game.
–Mizzou set up a play off a timeout with 19.1 on the clock. Ross got a pass to Clarkson who dished to Brown in the corner who hit a three-pointer to give the Tigers a 64-63 lead. However, on the next possession, Jonathan Williams III was called for foul and Illinois hit both freebies with four seconds left to snap Illinois’ four-game losing streak in this series.
Watch my post game comments from Scottrade Center
First half highlights
–Illinois’ first point of the game came at 16:58, on a free throw from Tracy Abrams.
–Mizzou opened the game with an 8-0 run.
–Jordan Clarkson has seven of the Tigers’ first 12 points.
–Illinois broke a scoring drought of 3:26, after a basket by Joseph Bertrand cut the Mizzou lead to 15-8.
–Coming out of a timeout with 11:30 to play, Mizzou’s fifth turnover was followed by a three from Abrams to cut the Mizzou lead to one. Rayvonte Rice hit a jumper off another turnover to give Illinois their first lead at 16-15, in a span of 1:20.
–At the 7:25 mark, Wes Clark hit a three-pointer right after Bertrand put Illinois up 21-18 to knot the game back up.
–With 4:25 to play, Independence, Mo. native Jon Ekey hit a three-pointer giving Illinois their biggest lead of the game at four with 3:23 to play. It is his 11th straight game with a three-pointer.