News Local/State

Illini Men Sweep Wildcats For First Big Ten Winning Streak In Two Years

Illini Te'jon Lucas (3) dribbles past Northwestern's Bryant McIntosh (30) Tuesday night in Champaign.

Illini Te'jon Lucas (3) dribbles past Northwestern's Bryant McIntosh (30) Tuesday night in Champaign. Rob McColley/Illinois Public Media

The Illini men's basketball team beat Northwestern 66-50 last night in Champaign. It's the first back-to-back Big Ten wins for Illinois since the end of the 2015 season.

Malcolm Hill led all scorers with 18 points, and added five rebounds and five assists. 

Head coach John Groce was pleased with Hill's variety of contributions.

"I thought Hill was great in a lot of different areas," Groce said. "Making our team better with the pass, rebounding, scoring, defending. He was vocal."

Leron Black scored in double-figures for the first time since January 25th, tallying 11 points to go with eight rebounds.

Maverick Morgan led the Illini with ten rebounds and added nine points.  He said the team has maintained an even keel, even during rough stretches of the season.

"We've been working really hard behind the scenes," Morgan said. "It's kind of come to light during the games, and we're gonna keep doing that."

Bryant McIntosh led the Wildcats with 16 points.

Leading scorer Scottie Lindsey returned from a weeks long absence after suffering from mononucleosis, but managed to convert only 1-of-11 shots from the field. 

The poor shooting was infectious. Northwestern was 5-27 in the second half, just over 18-percent from the floor. 

Wildcats coach Chris Collins said that McIntosh and his teammates are just worn out.

"Not being able to get anyone else established, then put a lot on Bryant," Collins said. "I thought he got real tired in the second half."

Gavin Skelly added 11 points and Dererk Pardon grabbed 12 rebounds for the 'Cats.

Illinois sophomore Jalen Coleman-Lands sprained an ankle in the first half and never returned to the game. Groce said Coleman-Lands will be day-to-day and possibly available for Sunday's game at Nebraska.

Northwestern drops to 9-6 in the Big Ten and 20-8 overall. Illinois is now 16-12 overall, and 6-9 in the conference.