Illini

Illinois basketball beats Hawaii at buzzer

2012-11-18T01:00:00Z 2012-11-26T13:36:21Z Illinois basketball beats Hawaii at buzzerBy MARK TUPPER H&R Executive Sports Editor Herald-Review.com

Back in Central Illinois, it was past 2 a.m., Saturday and the Illini basketball team needed a miracle four time zones from home.

The Illini trailed the University of Hawaii 77-75 in overtime and somehow needed to rush the ball the length of the floor and either score or lose. They had 7.5 seconds to do it.

Sophomore point guard Tracy Abrams ran the ball up the court and penetrated into the lane. Hawaii’s defense converged on him, just as coach John Groce had told Abrams they would.

Brandon Paul, who already had 25 points and five 3-pointers, went to one corner. D.J. Richardson, who had scored all of his 13 points after halftime, went to the other.

Abrams took the ball under the basket, and amid the Hawaii defense he bounced a pass to Richardson, who let fly in front of the Illini bench. The high-arcing shot swished through the net and as Richardson hit the seat of his pants and skidded out of bounds, one referee signaled that the shot was taken too late.

But after the officials reviewed the shot on a video monitor, the basket counted and Illinois had a 78-77 victory that capped a comeback from a 16-point deficit.

It was the biggest shot in his career for the senior Richardson, who finished with 16 points, and it was just the kind of adversity-defying victory Groce had hoped his first Illini team was capable of.

“The kids showed great resolve,” Groce said. “They kept swinging and swinging and swinging. As Tracy just said in the locker room, we didn’t come out ready. They popped us in the mouth first and we responded.

“But you have to set the rules when you’re on the road and we got away with one tonight.

“Give our guys credit, though, because we kept making plays.”

Illinois fell behind early, 19-7, and trailed by as many as 16 points. Hawaii’s halftime lead was 41-28.

But with Abrams (22 points), Paul and Richardson doing the bulk of the scoring, Illinois battled back.

Now 3-0, the Illini remain in Hawaii but head to a different island, preparing to meet Southern California on Monday in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. That game tips at 11 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

mtupper@herald-review.com|421-7983

Copyright 2015 Herald-Review.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

DON'T MISS A THING! SIGN UP FOR EMAIL NEWS.

Read about it first from the Herald & Review. See an example

Get the latest local headlines from the Herald & Review. See an example

Get incredible deals in your inbox every day, with savings of 50% or more!

Be among the first to know about special offers from businesses near where you live and work!

Don't miss a chance to win big! Get our contest updates to stay in the know.

What to do this weekend? Enjoy the best Central Illinois has to offer with our email updates every Friday afternoon. See an example

Receive the current days obituaries in your email!

Sports Links

Illini

Main | Football Stats (Big Ten Scoreboard) | Men's Basketball Stats (Big Ten Scoreboard)

NCAA

Football: FBS | FCS
Men's Basketball: Main | Scoreboard
Women's Basketball: Main | Scoreboard

Professional

MLB: Main | Scoreboard
NFL: Main | Scoreboard
NBA: Main | Scoreboard
WNBA: Main | Scoreboard
NHL: Main | Scoreboard
Tennis: Men | Women
Auto Racing: Sprint | Nationwide | Truck | Indy | F-1 | Champ
Golf: PGA | LPGA | Champions | Nationwide | USGA | European | Canadian
Soccer: MLS | WPS | Indoor | International
More: AHL/CHL/ECHL | Arena FB | CFL

High School

Main | Baseball | Boys Basketball | Football | Girls Basketball | Golf | Soccer | Softball | Volleyball | Track and Field | Wrestling

Deals & Offers

More Offers
Get your sports to go

Get your sports to go

Download the new HR Illini and HR Preps Sports apps on your smartphone or tablet. They're fast and free.

MORE   »