CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — In a game tied at halftime, the Illini used multiple second half runs to come away with a 66-53 win over Hawaii.
Turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers. It didn’t look worse for the Illini the first half did not bode well for the Illini. They shot 33% from the field in the first, but a 10-2 run to start the second half pushed the Illini to a win over Hawaii.
“We got the ball to where we wanted it to go, we got it down there to Kofi, Kipper and Giorgi right in front of the rim. Ball just wasn’t going in so, we did better the second half, and flowed smoother and did a great job with that,” Trent Frazier said.
“We looked like a team that was off for a week, we didn’t really find a rhythm, and I think one of the biggest discrepancies or biggest differences was that you can’t turn the ball over like we did in the first half,” Brad Underwood said.
Despite a sloppy start, defense was the saving grace for the Illini with 44 rebounds. Freshman Kofi Cockburn led with 13, and 15 points, his third double double of the season.
“It’s just from the summer, like coming in and working with these guys, they pushed me to be the best basketball player and human I could possibly be,” Cockburn said. “When I go out there I just execute and do what coach tells me to do and what coach asks of me.”
While the Illini picked it up on the second half, a slow start like they had won’t cut it in Big Ten play. Luckily they still have a few more weeks left before conference play.
The Illini are now 3-1, and host the Citadel on Wednesday night.