Illinois basketball BARELY escapes with ugliest win ever over IPFW

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Illinois basketball had some issues tonight doing something that the 1996 and 2000 GOP Presidential primary fields handled with ease: stopping Steve Forbes.  A different Steve Forbes, this was a chubby IPFW big man with totally boss facial hair; not a flat tax promoting mega-rich publisher and CEO of a major wing of the business press.

But eventually Illinois won 57-55. Eventually Forbes fouled out with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 6 turnovers.

Illinois basketball got outrebounded 39-33 by a middle of the road Summit League team. The Indiana University of Purdue at Ft. Wayne Mastodons entered at 6-2, with close losses to Dayton and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. If they had been able to make any free throws at all, then this really would have been an embarrassing home loss for Illinois basketball. IPFW shot just 2-13 at the charity stripe (15%).

  And the Illini struggled massively behind the arc, going 1-12 in the second half, 4-21 (19%) for the game. Jon Ekey again couldn’t find his 3-pt shot. Ekey is streaky. All 3 point shooters are streaky, but Ekey started 1-8, then went 12-19, then 2-10 in his last two games before going 1-6 tonight. This isn’t first time this year that the Illini struggled at home badly before later finally putting away mid-majors and low-majors.

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Illinois basketball led Valparaiso by two – 49-47, with five minutes left before going on a 13-1 run as part of a 15-5 spree to close the game. Illinois led Chicago State by four, – 55-51 with eight to go, before igniting a 22-2 run to end the game that included no CSU field goals.  Illinois basketball Coach John Groce on the radio channeled the great Will Rogers. He was asked to repeat the quote in the press conference:

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/willrogers393513.html#LPWZeiLPDS9PDZwe.99

“As bad as the Mastodons were at the stripe, the Illini returned the favor and helped even things out by going through a brutal 1-9 stretch during I’ll be back to update this post later with reaction from Illinois basketball players and Illinois basketball coach John Groce.”

“And I feel we got electrocuted a little bit tonight,” he added.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS Catch him Tuesdays talking Illini and Northwestern for KOZN 1620 The Zone, Fridays talking Chicago Bears for WAOR 95.7 The Fan

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