It took six weeks, but the Illinois men’s basketball team has won back-to-back games after taking down Nebraska 76-50 on Tuesday night. It was the first road victory for the Illini, who were dominant in all facets.
Midway through the second half, the Illini had a 20-point lead and never lost it.
Guard Terrance Shannon Jr. dropped a game-high 25 points, adding 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Five other players scored in double figures. Forward Coleman Hawkins had 12, freshman guard Jayden Epps had 11 and senior forward RJ Melendez and Matthew Mayer combined for 20.
These last two performances have been all about the identity head coach Brad Underwood has tried to set.
“Us wins. Individuals don’t. I’ve said it many times. I love this team. I like this team as much as any other team I’ve ever coached. Not just basketball. As people,” Underwood said. “Unbelievable human beings in that locker room. Fun to be around. There’s no downers. It’s just an energy group. Anything is possible and it’s a long season. We said from day one with nine new guys, there was going to be a lot of ups and downs.”
“We all share the ball. Nobody cares who’s shooting it. With this team, it can be anybody’s night,” Shannon said. “As long as we keep sharing the ball and playing together, we’ll be great. We get open shots when we move the ball, we just have to knock them down.”