Illinois fought hard in a gutsy showdown vs. No. 11 Arizona. Unfortunately, the Illini were unable to pull out a win late with a few too many missed opportunities.

In the first half, it was the Illini erasing a deficit with an incredible 19-0 run powered by the work of Trent Frazier. The Wildcats came back and chipped that lead to 4 points heading into halftime.

After the break, it was Arizona going on a run to build a 7-point lead of its own. Forced to come back once again, Illinois re-took the lead on a Kofi Cockburn layup with 7 minutes left to play:

The game turned into a back-and-forth affair with the two sides trading buckets down the stretch. Alphonso Plummer and Frazier continued to be the driving force for the Illini with Plummer finishing with 25 points and 6 made 3-pointers:

In the end, Arizona made enough free throws late to squeak out the 83-79 win. The Wildcats were powered by Benedict Mathurin who netted a game-high 30 points on 10-for-16 shooting with 7 rebounds.

Plummer and Frazier combined for 12-for-25 shooting from 3-point range for Illinois with 52 points between the duo. Cockburn finished with another double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, but he had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night at 5-for-15 from the floor.

The loss puts an end to a 5-game winning streak for Illinois after back-to-back losses to Marquette and Cincinnati. However, after some strong wins and a strong effort vs. Arizona, a strong case should be made that the Illini deserve to be ranked on the next AP Poll. It will be interesting to see if voters feel the same way.