[9:30 PM] Brigham Young @ Illinois

Who will WIN this FIGHT?

Brigham Young Cougars (7-3)

@ Illinois Fighting Illini (8-3)


Illinois looks to stay on the winning track when it takes on BYU as part of the Chicago Legends doubleheader at the United Center on Saturday. The Fighting Illini have rattled off four consecutive victories, including an impressive 92-73 rout of Central Michigan on Dec. 10, to improve to 8-3 for the second time in the last two seasons.

BYU was heading in the wrong direction after dropping three of their last four games in late November, but has turned things around by winning back-to-back games, including a hard-fought 79-71 victory over Colorado on Dec. 10, and hopes to halt a four-game winless skid against Big Ten foes since 2006-07.

Sophomore guard Nick Emery led the way with 22 points in the win over Colorado and has made at least one 3-pointer in 19 consecutive games, which is the ninth longest streak in program history. Sophomore center Eric Mika was named the WCC Player of the Week after averaging 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in the victories against Weber State (77-66) and the Buffaloes. Mika, who has scored in double figures in every game this season, also notched his fourth double-double of the campaign and the ninth of his career.

Senior guard Tracy Abrams went 7-of-8 from 3-point range en route to a career-high 31 points in the win over Central Michigan to become the 49th player in program history to reach 1,000 points. Sophomore Leron Black provided a spark off the bench as he added a career-best 21 points and senior guard Malcolm Hill tallied 10 points to move past Don Freeman (1,449) for 15th place on Illinois’ all-time scoring list. Chicago natives Mark Aguirre and Ray Meyer will be honored during the Chicago Legends doubleheader, which also features Northwestern taking on Dayton.

Illinois has shot better than 50 percent from the field in six of its eight victories.


StreakSmarts Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick