Illini Use Second Half Surge to Run To Victory

Oliver VanDervoortCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2008

For a moment there, it seemed as if the Illinois Fighting Illini had read my article talking about how much better they were this year than last, and were bound and determined to prove me wrong.  Facing the always-dangerous (read 3-7, 0-2 in the Horizon League) Detroit Titans the Illini managed just an eight-point lead to take into halftime.

Considering what conference compatriots Michigan State (beat No. 5 Texas), Purdue (beat No. 22 Davidson), and Minnesota (beat No. 9 Louisville) did on Saturday, it appeared that Illinois was the weak link in an increasingly powerful league.

Then halftime ended, and Illinois showed that they still belong in the conversation when talking about who will win the Big Ten conference this season.  Thanks to a 48-25 deficit in the second half, Illinois won their 10th game of the year in impressive fashion, and put away yet another team they were supposed to beat. A feat they had problems with a year ago.

Trent Meacham lead the pack for Illinois, scoring 15 points and shooting 100 percent from the field; including 3-3 from beyond the three-point arc. Mike Tisdale tossed in 15 points of his own and pulled down three rebounds, and Chester Frazier doled out the assists, finishing with nine on the game.

Leading scorer Mike Davis was surprisingly quiet, taking just two shots, and scoring four points.

Detroit was led in scoring by forward Thomas Kennedy who tossed in 17 points.

As a team, Illinois shot 64 percent from the field, while Detroit managed just 39 percent.