KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WCIA) — Illinois guard Alfonso Plummer hit seven threes and a season-high 21 points to lead Illinois to a 72-64 win over Kansas State in the consolation game of the Hall of Fame Classic.
“When I made the first one I felt like I’m back,” said Plummer. “Then I started screaming and then I’m made the second one and then I was really back so I’m glad that happened.”
It was a breakout moment for the Illini senior, who made seven of his nine 3-pointers in just 12 minutes.
“I mean he’s capable and to be honest he’s been struggling and it’s been frustrating and as we all have, we all have been struggling but he has put in,” said head coach Brad Underwood. “I bet he has shot six-seven-thousand balls.”
Less than 24 hours after one of the worst shooting performances in the Brad Underwood tenure against Cincinnati, Illinois responded shooting 52 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc.
“You know yesterday, I didn’t like that team,” said Underwood. “That was something so rare for me to see in my time here.”
“The weak are going to back down and they’re going to quit but the strong are going to respond,” says Plummer. “They’re going to find a way to learn from their mistakes and keep fighting so we responded really well.”
Injuries are the main concern for the Illini heading into Thanksgiving. Trent Frazier had to be helped off the court in the second half with a lower body injury, it comes after he hurt his shoulder in the preseason. Andre Curbelo was also limited late, leaving Illinois short on ball handlers.
The Illini will play UT Rio Grande Valley next at the State Farm Center on Friday night. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.