Illinois coach Brad Underwood shares message to team following tough loss to No. 2 Baylor
No. 5 Illinois put up a good fight, but No. 2 Baylor was too much in the second half.
The Illini lost their first game of the season late Wednesday night by the score of 82-69.
The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Illinois was down by just one at halftime, but Baylor exploded for 51 second-half points. Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu hit a few shots late to boost Illinois’ point total, but the outcome had already been decided.
Dosunmu struggled throughout the majority of the game. He finished with 18 points on 18 shots, but didn’t get going until it was too late. He scored three points on six shots in the first half.
After the game, Illinois coach Brad Underwood shared what his message was to the team following their first loss of the season.
“You’re not going to beat these caliber of teams losing 50-50 battles. That was my main message,” Underwood said in his postgame press conference. “It’s all about what we’re trying to accomplish and that’s being able to win when you don’t shoot the ball well. It’s really that simple. You’ve got to figure out how to beat really good teams when that ball doesn’t go in.”
Ayo Dosunmu and Adam Miller shot a combined 8 for 29 against Baylor.
There won't be many games where this happens… and Illinois Head Coach Brad Underwood addressed this in his postgame message to the team. pic.twitter.com/CNT81pb1Su
— Mark Pearson (@MarkPearsonTV) December 3, 2020
Baylor’s defense stifled Illinois all night, although the box score would indicate that defense was a bigger problem. Baylor scored 51 points on 33 shots in the second half, and the Bears did most of that work without their best player in Jared Butler. He scored just two points on six shots after halftime.
Illinois will be back in action again on Saturday against Tennessee Martin. The Illini will then face No. 8 Duke on Dec. 8.