LINCOLN, Neb. – The sting from last season’s 23-point loss and the visions of former Illini standout Meyers Leonard weeping on the bench quickly became distant memory for Illinois.
The Illini knew the Nebraska Cornhuskers were capable. They knew they couldn’t ill afford a slow start. They knew they sorely needed this win.
Playing with a sense of urgency that seemed to be missing as of late, Illinois ended a three-game skid Thursday night with a 71-51 victory.
D.J. Richardson scored a career-high 30 points and made a career-high six 3-pointers to lead the charge. He moved into third-place in school history with 241 3-pointers, now behind only Corey Bradford (327) and Dee Brown (299).
Brandon Paul added 14 points for Illinois, which improved to 15-5 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten play. The Illini also ended a nine-game conference road skid.
The win also gave coach John Groce his 100th-career victory dating to his days at Ohio. Groce won 85 games in four seasons with the Bobcats.