Lineup shuffle helps Illini end skid

Published 02/10 2014 03:51PM

Updated 02/10 2014 06:36PM

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The streak is over.

The Illinois basketball team put an end to it's eight-game losing streak with a 60-55 win at Penn State Sunday, and a lineup change may have been the spark they needed.  John Groce put freshmen Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill in the starting lineup for the first time this year.  They replaced seniors Joseph Bertrand and Jon Ekey, who had both started the first 23 games of the year.  Nunn and Hill combined to score 30 points on 11-22 shooting, ensuring the move paid off.

But it wasn't only them.  Every play saw significant playing time, and all but two - Bertrand and Jaylon Tate - scored points in the win.

"I really did think it was going to take everybody," Groce said.  "Did I know that we were going to play everybody 10 or more minutes - 10 players double-digit minutes?  You hear me say all the time, those that follow us, that players play players.  Tonight they earned those minutes."

Groce said Monday while on a conference call that he plans to stick with the same lineup for Wednesday night's game at Nebraska.

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