Illinois survives brutal second-half shooting to top Colorado

AUSTIN, Texas -- The bad shots from Illinois kept piling up, the misses kept rimming out, and suddenly, a Colorado squad that looked done at the end of the first half had clawed its way back from a 16-point deficit and taken a lead of its own.

This was not good basketball, by the way. A more impatient man could call it terribly horrendous.

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Colorado missed its final 12 shots of the first half. Illinois missed its first 14 of the second. But, hell, somebody had to win, and the Illini finally found their rhythm late in the second half and got a couple of drought-ending 3-pointers from D.J. Richardson and Tracy Abrams to hold off the Buffaloes, 57-49.

The stats, though, aren’t pretty.

Neither team shot better than 33.3 percent, and neither cracked the 27 percent mark from long distance. Colorado guard Askia Booker actually hit four 3s in the game, but he got precious little help from anybody else on his team.

Illinois guard Brandon Paul scored 17 to lead the Illini, and Richardson and Abrams combined to add 27. But for the fourth time in the past five games, the Illini failed to score more than 57 points. In fact, in their past nine appearances they’ve cracked the 70-point mark just once.

Going up against a Miami squad that looked strong in decimating Pacific on Friday, that should probably cause some concern.

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