The Illini were 9 of 25 from the field after 20 minutes and 3 of 7 from the free throw line.
The biggest shots for Illinois in the first half were arguably two putbacks by freshman Myke Henry.
The first, off a miss by D.J. Richardson, put Illinois up 18-16 with 5:43 left. The second came with 34 seconds left, off another miss by Richardson, and gave the Illini their halftime lead.
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