The end of the regular season schedule is not very favorable for the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Three of their final four games were scheduled to be played on the road and so far, Illinois have dropped the first two of those three. The Illini will conclude their regular season this weekend when they make the trip to Columbus for a date with Ohio State, but on Tuesday night at Iowa, things could not have been any uglier.
We will start first with the bright spots in the box score and that of course comes from the guard play of both Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson. The back court duo combined for 31 of the team’s 55 points in the loss, scoring 18 and 13, respectively. However, both Richardson and Paul needed 15 shot attempts apiece to simply reach those numbers.
That’s the first statistic of the domino effect.
As of team, the Fighting Illini finished the game 18-of-63 from the field, a mark that totals a whopping 28.6%. Not many teams are going to win games when they shoot at that percentage, let alone in a game that was a) played on the road, b) played in the Big Ten and c) against a team that’s virtually fighting for its tournament life.
The equation just didn’t add up for Illinois and it’s certainly a night that they will want to forget. In addition, Illinois was also 9-of-29 from the 3-point line and missed seven free throws in the eight point loss.
Now, the Hawkeyes weren’t exactly shooting the lights out and putting the Illini away, so for as bad as Illinois was from the field, Iowa wasn’t that much better. They simply did enough to win the game.
We will see how Illinois looks to adjust on their shot selection against Ohio State this weekend. The good news is that Paul at least has a history of scoring the ball against the Buckeyes.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS