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Sturdy's Takeaways: Illini Roll Over Lindenwood

Sturdy's Takeaways: Illini Roll Over Lindenwood

By Brad Sturdy - IlliniGuys Insider/Analyst

November 26, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

As the Illini recovered from their turkey coma, they got a chance to play a warmup game against the Lindenwood Lions on Friday night at the State Farm Center. The result was a 92-59 win over the Lions, but it was also a chance for them to work on some new things, get some players some court time and prepare for the future schedule, which is about to become a gauntlet. 

Skyy Clark scored 19 points to lead the way, while RJ Melendez added 17 and Terrence Shannon 16 for the Illini. Lindenwood got 20 points from Keenon Cole. The Illini are now 5-1 and will host Syracuse at 6:30 PM on Tuesday evening in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Here’s what we saw.

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St. Rita 64-56 Loss Leaves Bitter Taste in Morez Johnson's Mouth

St. Rita 64-56 Loss Leaves Bitter Taste in Morez Johnson's Mouth

Kedric Prince – IlliniGuys.com Director of Recruiting

November 26, 2022

Washington, Ill. -- Illinois commit Morez Johnson knew how big the stage was Wednesday night at Washington High School in Illinois.

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IlliniGuys Game Predictions Versus Northwestern

IlliniGuys Game Predictions Versus Northwestern

November 26, 2022 The Illini's losing streak moved up […]

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Watch: Brad Underwood postgame after Lindenwood win

Watch: Brad Underwood postgame after Lindenwood win

Illini coach Brad Underwood earns his 99th win at […]

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Versatile Illini Toy With Lindenwood In Tuneup For ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Versatile Illini Toy With Lindenwood In Tuneup For ACC/Big Ten Challenge

By IlliniGuys Staff

November 25, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - RJ Melendez and Skyy Clark became the latest Illini to enjoy a breakout night as the 16th ranked team in the country ran past Lindenwood 92-59 to tune-up for their most difficult stretch of the season.

Coming off their first loss of the season to Virginia at the Main Event in Las Vegas on Sunday, Illinois (5-1) was in control throughout.  The Illini shot 64% in the first half as they built a 49-25 halftime lead.

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Illini Women Wave Past Charlotte in Daytona Beach

Illini Women Wave Past Charlotte in Daytona Beach

By IlliniGuys Staff November 25, 2022 (Cover photo courtesy […]

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Jeremiah Fears Puts on a Show to Beat St. Rita 64-56

Jeremiah Fears Puts on a Show to Beat St. Rita 64-56

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

November 25, 2022

Washington, Ill. -- Typically as an eighth-grade student, the last thing most athletes are worried about is getting a DI basketball offer.

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Lindenwood versus Illini Preview

Lindenwood versus Illini Preview

IlliniGuys Staff Cover photo courtesy of Joe Clark, IlliniGuys […]

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The Farrell Report - QBs and WRs are Wild

The Farrell Report - QBs and WRs are Wild

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys National Football Recruiting Expert

November 25, 2022

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

The Northwestern rivalry game was supposed to be a final stamp on the Big Ten West title.

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Jarvis Martin:

Jarvis Martin: "Illinois was the Best Decision Ever"

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting November 24, 2022 […]

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Football Recruiting Spotlight on Brandon Hansen

Football Recruiting Spotlight on Brandon Hansen

Steve Sturm, IlliniGuys Football Analyst

November 24, 2022

The Illini under Coach Brett Bielema have had two themes in their recruiting so far:  offensive linemen and home-state players.

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The Trench Report: Michigan

The Trench Report: Michigan

Steve Sturm, IlliniGuys Football Analyst

November 24, 2022

I'm sure all of Illini Nation is smarting after letting a win slip away on Saturday in the big house. 

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It's About That Time Again, the Transfer Portal Looms

It's About That Time Again, the Transfer Portal Looms

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting 

November 23, 2022

Illinois has done very well recruiting the country to fill its roster.

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From the Couch: A shot at Big Ten West title seemingly ripped away in “The Big House”

From the Couch: A shot at Big Ten West title seemingly ripped away in “The Big House”

Illinois had its spirits dashed in the worst way Saturday, as the Orange and Blue fell in the final seconds on a game-winning field goal by Jake Moody, losing 19-17 to No. 3 Michigan and keeping the Wolverines’ Big Ten title hopes alive ahead of a colossal tilt with No. 2 Ohio State Thanksgiving weekend.

For about 45 minutes of game time, the reality of an Illini upset looked entirely possible. Once again, Illinois showed why its defensive unit continues to remain one of the best in the country, only holding the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines to one touchdown the entire game.

The team didn’t quit under pressure and fought until the last snap. Trailing 7-3 at halftime, the Illini made some adjustments to get the offense moving in the right direction. The score eventually became 10-10 midway through the third quarter, and along with it came several defensive stops, including TFLs from Devon Witherspoon and Sydney Brown, among others.

Of course, though, the Illini did what it does best. Chase Brown, the nation’s leading rusher, carried the team on his back, accounting for two scores and 140 rushing yards. Both touchdowns put Illinois in a position to win the game until, suddenly, disaster struck. With the Illini to a one-point lead, 17-16, and a minute left, a fourth down miscue by the referees led to an illegal pick play that extended Michigan’s drive, on top of a phantom catch that helped increase the Wolverine’s field position to make the winning field goal attempt that much easier.

Bret Bielema was visibly frustrated upon the game’s conclusion, giving an earful to the officials, and letting his presence be known that his team, whether the Big Ten likes it or not, was robbed of a top-five win in program history.

Now, Illinois will have to look past Saturday’s anguish and try to maintain the Land of Lincoln trophy for the second-straight year. Although Illinois has teetered to a 7-4 record (4-4 B1G), it still has an outside shot to win the Big Ten West if the following things happen Nov. 25 and 26 – Nebraska beats Iowa, Illinois beats Northwestern and Indiana beats Purdue. That would give Illinois the tiebreaker, given its home loss to the Boilermakers just two short weeks ago.

A win in Evanston on Saturday will give the Illini their best regular season finish since 2007, which was the last time the Orange and Blue reached the Rose Bowl.

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Football Recruiting Spotlight on Brandon Henderson

Football Recruiting Spotlight on Brandon Henderson

Steve Sturm, IlliniGuys Football Analyst

November 23, 2022

Do you like having Julian Pearl on the team?  I sure do. 

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