ST. LOUIS (AP) — Malcolm Hill had 21 points, including a basket that ended a scoreless drought of nearly 9-1/2 minutes, and Illinois held off Missouri, 68-63, in the annual Braggin’ Rights game on Wednesday night.
Kendrick Nunn had 19 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double for Illinois (8-5), which has won five in a row overall and three straight in the neutral site series.READ MORE: City Council To Meet Again Friday With Renaming Lake Shore Drive On Agenda
Wes Clark had a career best 21 points with four 3-pointers for Missouri (5-6), which has lost three in a row. Kevin Puryear added 12 points and Russell Woods had seven points and 10 rebounds.
Illinois led 50-30 with 16:13 to go but missed 11 straight shots and three free throws while Missouri climbed back into it with a 15-0 run, including seven points from Clark. Hill drove the baseline to end Illinois’ drought with 6:52 to go.
Nunn scored eight points — including back-to-back dunks — in a 14-2 run that put Illinois seemingly in control at 35-21 with 3:39 to go in the first half.
There were thousands of empty seats, especially in the upper bowl on the north side of the Scottrade Center, for what annually has been the toughest ticket in town. Enthusiasm waned with the two schools combining for a 12-10 record and neither ranked for the second straight year, although those in attendance included Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Missouri football coaches present and past, Barry Odom and Gary Pinkel.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Heavy Rain, Thunderstorms Friday
Illinois is dependent on Hill and Nunn, who entered averaging 18.5 and 18.4 points, and both delivered. Michael Finke added 16 points with a team-high three 3-pointers for the Fighting Illini, who overcame 40 percent shooting and a 43-32 rebounding deficit.
Illinois: Dec. 30 at home against Michigan in Big Ten opener.
Missouri: Tuesday at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Another Wave Of Downpours Coming Early Friday Morning
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