Frazier scores 27 in Illinois loss to No. 11 Arizona

Sports

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — For a three-minute stretch in the first half, Trent Frazier and the Illini were unstoppable. The Illinois super-senior was on top of the mountain scoring 11 straight points in less than two minutes, sparking a 19-0 run to blow the roof off State Farm Center.

“I had goosebumps, there was a lot of people in there tonight, it felt great,” said Frazier who led the Illini with 27 points. But for all that was great about that stretch for the Orange and Blue, the Wildcats showed why they’re one of the best teams in the country, closing the first half on a 14-6 run to pull within four at the break, as Illini head coach Brad Underwood questioned his team’s toughness.

“Put it in all caps, SOFTNESS. SOFT,” said Underwood. “Have you guys ever known my teams to be that? And that I have a hard time with. When people are taking your ball and we’re not gritty enough to get a stop against a really good player, that’s something I’ve got to get right and I told our team that.”

The Wildcats’ size bothered the Illini all night. Kofi Cockburn went just 5-for-15 from the floor, with Arizona outscoring Illinois 42-16 in the paint.

“They had a lot of size out there to try and make it challenging for him,” says Frazier. “Their whole game plan was to double Kofi, they tried to be physical for him, push him off the block, make it challenging for him to finish.”

Arizona gets out of Champaign with a win after struggling to get here to begin with. Their flight was diverted to Indianapolis after Friday night’s poor weather, they had to Uber to town after not wanting to wait for a bus. In the end they stay undefeated, handing Illinois its third loss of the season. The other loss for the Illini is Austin Hutcherson, who Underwood said will miss the remainder of the season with an athletic hernia that will require surgery.

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