Refresh
Page last updated on Fri Mar 27 11:42:56 EDT 2015
RECAP
12/29/2012 6:17 PM EST
Abrams scores 27, Illinois beats Auburn 81-79
ILLINOIS 81, AUBURN 79

By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Brandon Paul looks at the rest of the Illinois
roster and sees no reason why the Illini can't compete in the
Big Ten.



At this point, who can argue?



Tracy Abrams scored a career-high 27 points and No. 12 Illinois
tuned up for conference play with an 81-79 victory over Auburn
on Saturday.



The Illini (13-1) saw an 11-point lead shrink to one in the
closing minutes but they prevailed after falling to Missouri in
the Braggin' Rights game a week earlier - their first loss under
coach John Groce. Their next game is the conference opener at
Purdue on Wednesday, and Paul believes they are ready.



He sees more confidence and more talent than in recent years.



"I just feel like we have a lot more weapons and a lot more
confidence, not only in myself but the guys that I play with,"
Paul said. "They come in with the mindset that they're going to
compete every game and play hard and what's going to dictate the
end of the game is how we play."



They had to scratch and claw for this one, and things got real
tense when Frankie Sullivan buried a 3 for Auburn (5-7) to make
it 68-67 with 4:29 remaining. Illinois then hit 13 of 18 free
throws the rest of the way for a rare win at the United Center,
where they had dropped three straight and five of six after
winning 18 in a row.



They can thank Abrams.



The sophomore guard came up big on a day when Paul was off
target, going 6 of 11 from the field and 13 of 15 from the free
throw line while eclipsing his previous high by five points.



Paul, meanwhile, finished with 13 points but hit just 3 of 12
shots. He missed all five 3-point attempts and the Illini again
struggled from the outside, going 4 of 15 after hitting 8 of 32
against Missouri.



Even so, they head into conference play on a winning note.



"We going to stay level," Abrams said. "We're going to try to
execute our game plan."



Sullivan led Auburn with 21 points. Rob Chubb scored 13, and
Allen Payne chipped in with 10 points and 10 rebounds. But the
Tigers committed 20 turnovers - six by Chris Denson and five by
Sullivan - even though Illinois wasn't pressing.



"They didn't press us one time, and we had over 20 turnovers,"
coach Tony Barbee said.



He called that "just inexcusable," and Sullivan wasn't about to
argue.



"We were just being lazy with the ball, not executing," Sullivan
said. "It was more us (making mental mistakes), because they
weren't really pressuring us."



Josh Wallace hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer for Auburn to
make it a two-point game, but by then, the Illini had sealed the
win.



Both teams hit 16 of 30 shots in the first half, but Illinois
took a 47-42 lead with Abrams scoring 16 points. He hit two free
throws with 4 minutes left in the half to break a 39-39 tie and
start a 14-5 run that stretched into the second half.



The only points for Auburn during that stretch came on a
three-point play by Wallace with 2:22 remaining before halftime
and two free throws by Chubb with 17:15 left in the game before
D.J. Richardson hit two of his own for Illinois, making it
53-44.



The Tigers went more than 7 minutes without a field goal before
Sullivan's layup with 15 minutes remaining. But Paul answered
with a wild one of his own, flipping the ball over his shoulder
and into the basket as he slipped near the baseline.



That was one of the highlight reel plays in a game that Groce
said was the "grindiest 80-point game I've been involved in."



Now, the real grind is beginning.



Groce, an assistant at Ohio State before taking the head
coaching job at Ohio University, knows what to expect.



"Home, road, all of them are fistfights," he said. "It's a great
league. Toughness is really, really important. Execution is
really important and then players making plays is important."

TOP TEN WAGERS
RK Team
1
Duke
2
Michigan State
3
Louisville
4
Duke
5
Utah
03/27/2015
ATP - Miami, USABERDYCH, TOMAS vs. CHUNG, HYEON07:50 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USAANDERSON, KEVIN vs. QUERREY, SAM08:00 AM PST
WTA - Miami, USAHALEP, SIMONA vs. VAIDISOVA, NICOLE08:00 AM PST
WTA - Miami, USAJANKOVIC, JELENA vs. AZARENKA, VICTORIA09:10 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USAYOUNG, DONALD vs. MURRAY, ANDY09:15 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USATHIEM, DOMINIC vs. LOPEZ, FELICIANO09:20 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USAWAWRINKA, STANISLAS vs. BERLOCQ, CARLOS10:25 AM PST
WTA - Miami, USASTEPHENS, SLOANE vs. KEYS, MADISON10:35 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USAALMAGRO, NICHOLAS vs. NADAL, RAFAEL11:50 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USAMONFILS, GAEL vs. KRAJINOVIC, FILIP11:55 AM PST
ATP - Miami, USAGULBIS, ERNESTS vs. MONACO, JUAN2:00 PM PST
WTA - Miami, USAMARIA, TATJANA vs. BOUCHARD, EUGENIE2:00 PM PST
ATP - Miami, USAFOGNINI, FABIO vs. SOCK, JACK3:15 PM PST
NBAPistons vs Magic4:05 PM PST
NBAClippers vs 76ers4:05 PM PST
NBAHornets vs Wizards4:05 PM PST
College BasketballUCLA vs Gonzaga4:15 PM PST
NBAHeat vs Hawks4:35 PM PST
NBACavaliers vs Nets4:35 PM PST
NBACeltics vs Knicks4:35 PM PST
NBALakers vs Raptors4:35 PM PST
College BasketballNC State vs Louisville4:35 PM PST
NHLFlames at Wild5:00 PM PST
WTA - Miami, USAWILLIAMS, SERENA vs. NICULESCU, MONICA5:00 PM PST
NBATimberwolves vs Rockets5:05 PM PST
NBAWarriors vs Grizzlies5:05 PM PST
NBAKings vs Pelicans5:05 PM PST
NHLBlue Jackets at Blackhawks5:30 PM PST
NBAMavericks vs Spurs5:35 PM PST
NBAJazz vs Nuggets6:05 PM PST
ATP - Miami, USASMYCZEK, TIM vs. TSONGA, JO-WILFRIED6:15 PM PST
NHLStars at Oilers6:30 PM PST
College BasketballUtah vs Duke6:45 PM PST
NBABlazers vs Suns7:05 PM PST
College BasketballMichigan State vs Oklahoma7:05 PM PST
03/28/2015
NHLPredators at Capitals09:30 AM PST
NHLRangers at Bruins10:00 AM PST
NHLDucks at Islanders10:00 AM PST
NHLSharks at Flyers10:00 AM PST
NHLCoyotes at Penguins10:00 AM PST
NHLLightning at Red Wings11:00 AM PST
NHLSenators at Maple Leafs4:00 PM PST
NHLPanthers at Canadiens4:00 PM PST
NHLDevils at Hurricanes4:00 PM PST
NBAHawks vs Hornets4:05 PM PST
NHLKings at Wild5:00 PM PST
NBAKnicks vs Bulls5:05 PM PST
NBAWarriors vs Bucks5:35 PM PST
NHLSabres at Avalanche6:00 PM PST
NBAThunder vs Jazz6:05 PM PST
NHLStars at Canucks7:00 PM PST
NBANuggets vs Trail Blazers7:05 PM PST
03/29/2015
NHLCapitals at Rangers12:00 PM PST
NHLFlames at Predators2:00 PM PST
NHLPanthers at Senators2:00 PM PST
NHLRed Wings at Islanders2:00 PM PST
NHLBruins at Hurricanes2:00 PM PST
NHLDucks at Devils4:00 PM PST
NHLBlackhawks at Jets4:30 PM PST
NHLSharks at Penguins4:30 PM PST
03/30/2015
NHLLightning at Canadiens4:30 PM PST
NHLCanucks at Blues5:00 PM PST
NHLFlames at Stars5:30 PM PST
NHLKings at Blackhawks5:30 PM PST
NHLOilers at Avalanche6:00 PM PST
NHLSabres at Coyotes7:00 PM PST
03/31/2015
NHLPanthers at Bruins4:00 PM PST
NHLHurricanes at Capitals4:00 PM PST
NHLDevils at Blue Jackets4:00 PM PST
NHLLightning at Maple Leafs4:30 PM PST
NHLSenators at Red Wings4:30 PM PST
NHLRangers at Jets5:00 PM PST
NHLCanucks at Predators5:00 PM PST
04/01/2015
NHLMaple Leafs at Sabres4:30 PM PST
NHLFlyers at Penguins5:00 PM PST
NHLOilers at Ducks7:00 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Sharks7:30 PM PST
04/02/2015
NHLIslanders at Blue Jackets4:00 PM PST
NHLLightning at Senators4:30 PM PST
NHLCapitals at Canadiens4:30 PM PST
NHLHurricanes at Panthers4:30 PM PST
NHLBruins at Red Wings4:30 PM PST
NHLFlames at Blues5:00 PM PST
NHLRangers at Wild5:00 PM PST
NHLCanucks at Blackhawks5:30 PM PST
NHLOilers at Kings7:30 PM PST
04/03/2015
NHLBlackhawks at Sabres4:00 PM PST
NHLCanadiens at Devils4:00 PM PST
NHLBlues at Stars5:30 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Ducks7:00 PM PST
NHLCoyotes at Sharks7:00 PM PST
04/04/2015
UFCL Murphy vs L Carmouche08:00 AM PST
UFCA Yakovlev vs G Maynard08:00 AM PST
UFCT Johnson vs S Abdurahimov08:00 AM PST
UFCJ Jones vs R Stallings08:00 AM PST
UFCR Lamas vs C Mendes10:00 AM PST
UFCA Iaquinta vs J Masvidal10:00 AM PST
UFCM Clarke vs M Chiesa10:00 AM PST
UFCM Dudieva vs J Pena10:00 AM PST
UFCR Peralta vs C Guida10:00 AM PST
UFCD Ferreira vs D Poirier10:00 AM PST
NHLFlyers at Hurricanes10:00 AM PST
NHLPenguins at Blue Jackets11:00 AM PST
NHLCanucks at Jets12:00 PM PST
NHLMaple Leafs at Bruins4:00 PM PST
NHLCapitals at Senators4:00 PM PST