The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Notes, player grades from No. 14 Illinois’ overtime victory over Nebraska

Angel Saldivar
Graduate student forward Marcus Domask challenges the Nebraska defense in the first half on Sunday.

No. 14 Illinois men’s basketball made it three straight wins with its Sunday night win over Nebraska. Despite leading by 10 points with 3:29 remaining, the highest of either team all game, the Illini were forced to overtime where they pulled out an 87-84 victory led by a scoring trio of Coleman Hawkins (20), Marcus Domask (19) and Terrence Shannon Jr. (18).

Another Big Ten title is within reach

Halfway through conference play, Illinois sits second in the Big Ten and just one game behind No. 2 Purdue. With games against Purdue and Wisconsin still to come, everything is at hand. Head coach Brad Underwood is no stranger to conference titles, but Hawkins and Luke Goode are the only remaining players who participated in Illinois’ 2021-22 title. Illinois’ overall experience will be essential down the stretch and resilient performances such as this show this group has what it takes.

Illinois’ starting five players are indicated with *.

* Marcus Domask (A+)

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This was another game and another top performance from Domask that saw him finish with 19 points against Nebraska. The graduate student forward has served as the definition of consistency lately, and Sunday was no different. 7-15 from the field, 4-5 from the free throw line and five assists rounded off a complete showing against the Cornhuskers. Domask managed to maintain his composure and was vital for the Illini late in the contest. The forward’s ability to sink free throws with the game on the line made all the difference in the victory.

* Terrence Shannon Jr. (A)

Shannon picked his moments against Nebraska. While not the most efficient shooting night from the fifth-year guard, Shannon was able to deliver at huge moments. The Chicago native’s sheer athleticism brought life back into the arena when the team needed a boost, highlighted by his one-handed slam at the end of the first half. Shannon finished the night with 18 points on 6-16 shooting from the field and played a pivotal role in securing the win with a crucial steal in the dying seconds.

* Coleman Hawkins (A+)

Hawkins had another incredibly complete performance, leading the team with 20 points while nailing a season-high four three-pointers. His stat sheet-stuffing night was rounded out by seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. The California native consistently came up huge for Illinois, kicking off the second half with back-to-back assists and a three. This swing turned a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead but was later usurped by another excellent sequence where Hawkins knocked down a three and set up Shannon for one of his own to give Illinois its first 10-point lead. Hawkins was on the floor for Nebraska’s 11-1 run to force overtime and responded by dishing out another assist and nailing two free throws in the extra period.

* Ty Rodgers (A)

Sunday was a monstrous night for Rodgers. It goes much deeper than the box score’s 14 rebounds, as on each occasion Rodgers was pushing the pace and generating good looks. His five offensive rebounds resulted in four second-chance points, each of which ended up being vital. The very first play of the game featured a defensive rebound and assist by Rodgers which set the tone for the rest of the night. His shot attempts were limited, but he dropped three of the five he did take en route to eight points.

* Quincy Guerrier (B)

Guerrier got back on track against Nebraska. He passed up on a couple of looks that he typically capitalizes on but still went 3-5 as a whole. Twelve points was fourth best on the team and was accompanied by a team-high eight shots at the free throw line. Rebounding has been Guerrier’s strong suit all season long and Sunday night was a return to form in that department as well. After totaling six rebounds against Indiana and Ohio State, Guerrier reeled in seven against Nebraska.

Luke Goode (C-)

It was a curious night for Goode, who had the worst and best performances of his career in a pair of areas that are his specialty. Goode set a career-high in rebounding, snagging three on the offensive end but the Illini did not get any second-chance points from Goode’s extra possessions. On the flip side, Goode missed all six of his shots from outside.

Justin Harmon (C)

While the glaring line from the stat sheet will be his 0-5 shooting from the field, Harmon was still able to contribute big, and it came from the free-throw line. The graduate student guard shot a perfect 4-4 from the line during the final stretch of the game where every attempt was essential.

Dain Dainja (A)

Dainja made the absolute most out of his nine minutes on the floor and came off the bench to provide the Illini with a dominant presence in the paint. Scoring six points on 3-4 shooting, the big man rescued Illinois’ momentum as the visitors were catching up halfway through the second half. 

Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn (N/A)

Gibbs-Lawhorn recorded just two minutes against Nebraska and missed the only shot he attempted.


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About the Contributors
Conor Blount
Conor Blount, Senior Sports Reporter
My name is Conor Blount. I’m a junior in aerospace engineering with a minor in computer science. I joined The Daily Illini in the summer of 2022 as a beat writer for the sports section and am now one of three assistant sports editors. My first beat was women’s tennis before I moved to women’s basketball in the spring. I also had the pleasure of covering several former Illini at the 2023 NFL draft and NBA summer league. If you have any questions, I can be reached at the email below.
James Kim
James Kim, Sports Editor
My name is James Kim and I’m a senior studying English with a minor in business. This is my third year with The Daily Illini and it’s been an amazing ride so far. When I joined in fall 2021, I began as a staff writer for the sports section where I covered women’s tennis. In spring 2022, I became an assistant sports editor and started covering soccer and Illinois men’s basketball. From spring 2023 onwards I’ve been working as the sports editor! In addition to being an Illini and Real Madrid fanatic, I also love watching movies and TV shows. If you have any questions about writing for The DI, you can reach me at my email below. I-L-L!
Angel Saldivar, Assistant Photo Editor
My name is Angel Saldivar and I'm nearing the end of my Journalism degree at the University of Illinois and currently serve as the Assistant Photo Editor at the Daily Illini. When I'm not out taking photos, I'm diving into filmmaking with my film club (shoutout Illini Film and Video) or playing the drums. Got questions or just want to connect? Don't hesitate to email me!
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