Illinois beats Missouri for fifth straight time
Freshman guard Trent Frazier scored 22 points and Illinois beat Missouri for the fifth straight time, 70-64 on Saturday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
The Illini built a 20-point halftime lead, but had to answer a rally from the Tigers in the second half. Missouri’s Kevin Puryear hit a mid-range jumper that trimmed the Illinois lead to 66-62 with 25.2 seconds to play. But Frazier followed with four straight free throws to seal the win for the Illini.
Leron Black added 20 points and seven rebounds, and Mark Smith finished with 11 points for the Illini (9-5), who bounced back from a loss to New Mexico State with a rivalry win over the Tigers.
Kassius Robertson scored 22 points, including a 3-pointer that trimmed the Illinois lead to 63-56 with just over two minutes to play.
Frazier answered with a three-point play on a driving layup and foul shot. The freshman led a strong effort from the Illini bench, which outscored Missouri’s reserves 27-0.
Jordan Barnett added 19 points for the Tigers (10-3), who had their five-game winning streak snapped.
Missouri looked a step slow from the opening tip, and the Illini pounced. Illinois pressured every pass, contested every shot and raced out to a 19-6 lead. The Illini extended their lead to 42-22 at halftime.
Missouri will look to rebound when it opens SEC play at South Carolina on Jan. 3.
Illinois will host Grand Canyon on Dec. 30, before resuming Big Ten play.