MINNEAPOLIS - Freshman guard Kendrick Nunn hit five 3-pointers and led Illinois with 19 points as the last-place Illini beat Minnesota 62-49 on Wednesday night, putting a damper on the Gophers' hopes for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
The Illini won for only the second time in their last 12 games thanks to some uncharacteristically good 3-point shooting and solid defense that helped them overcome a poor start. Nunn went 5-for-7 from 3-point range, and the Illini hit eight shots from behind the arc - their most so far in conference play.
Nnanna Egwu had 14 points and Tracy Abrams added 13 for Illinois (14-12, 3-10 Big Ten), which entered the game ranking next-to-last in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (.308).
Andre Hollins led Minnesota (17-9, 6-7) with 15 points, and Austin Hollins and Mo Walker each added 10. The Gophers have lost six of their last nine games.