Thursday, January 30, 2020

NCAAB Game Preview: Minnesota vs. Illinois - 1/30/2020 - 7:30 PM EST

NCAAB Game Preview: Minnesota vs. Illinois - Date: 1/30/2020 Jan 29, 2020Minnesota looks to contain Dosunmu, soaring No. 19 IllinoisNo. 19 Illinois will go for its seventh win in a row when it hosts Minnesota in a Big Ten Conference matchup Thursday night in Champaign, Ill.The Fighting Illini (15-5, 7-2) have the longest active winning streak in the conference and are off to their best Big Ten start through nine games since 2005. Sports Handicapping Service Units Gained. The program already has matched its number of conference victories from all of last season, when it went 7-13.Sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu has been one of the biggest reasons for Illinois' sudden surge.The 6-foot-5 Chicago native is coming off a game in which he hit the winning shot with 0.5 seconds remaining to lift the Fighting Illini to a 64-62 win over Michigan on the road Saturday afternoon. Dosu nmu finished with 27 points on 11-for-18 shooting."I'm running out of adjectives to talk about Ayo at this point," Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said to reporters after the win. "It's what great players do." Next comes the matchup against Minnesota (11-9, 5-5) in the teams' only meeting this season.The Golden Gophers will finish their January schedule with a second straight game against a ranked opponent. Free Sports Handicappers. They are coming off a 70-52 loss at home against No. 14 Michigan State on Sunday afternoon.Daniel Oturu led Minnesota with 19 points in the loss, while Marcus Carr paced the team in rebounds (seven) and assists (six). But the Golden Gophers never threatened to make the upset as they were outscored 30-22 in the first half and 40-30 in the second half.The game included a 5:22 scoring drought for Minnesota, which missed 19 of its first 23 shots. Free Sports Picks of the Day. The Golden Gophers will look for a better start when they take the court at Illinois."Our spirit got zapped a little bit (in our last game)," Minnesota coach Richard Pitino told reporters.A similar stumble could be difficult for the Golden Gophers to recover from in what promises to be a hostile environment. Basketball tickets have become a hot commodity once again in Champaign after a long string of disappointing seasons.The Fighting Illini are led in scoring by Dosunmu, who is averaging 16.2 points per game on 48.7 percent shooting. Freshman big man Kofi Cockburn is next with 14.5 points to go along with 9.4 rebounds, and senior guard Andres Feliz is averaging 10.5 points."I feel like we just have that swag where we're just playing confident," Dosunmu said to the Champaign News-Gazette. "Everyone is taking the shots they can take and making the shots they can take. I feel like the leadership is right, the locker room is right and we're just trying to get better and better each game." Minnesota is led by Oturu, who is averaging 19.7 points and 11.3 boards. Two other players also are scoring in double digits: Carr (16.1) and Gabe Kalscheur (12.0).The teams split their matchups last season. Illinois cruised to a 95-68 win at home on Jan. 16, 2019, but Minnesota bounced back for an 86-75 win on its home court two weeks later.Illinois is 11-1 at home this season. Minnesota is 1-6 on the road.--Field Level Media