CHAMPAIGN (HOI) -- No. 12 Illinois had its chances to win, but a cold stretch by the offense late in the game doomed the Illini (9-4, 5-2) in a 66-63 loss to Maryland (7-6, 2-5).
"We just gotta look at ourselves in the mirror and change it," said Illinois Head Coach Brad Underwood.
The Illini entered the season with championship aspirations, but suffered their fourth loss of the season on Sunday and their first home loss of the season.
With just over 4 minutes to go, junior guard Ayo Dosunmu gave Illinois a 61-59 lead, but were unable to score again until another Dosunmu bucket with 8 seconds left. Remarkably the Illini still had a chance to send the game to overtime, but Dosunmu missed a deep three and the game clock expired.
"I'd let Ayo shoot that shot 9 out of 10 times, today was just one of those it didn't go in," continued Underwood.
Underwood said he would take the blame for this loss after he said he allowed a sloppy couple days of practice leading up to Sunday's game. He also said his team needed to get sophomore center Kofi Cockburn more involved in the second half, something Underwood said he needed to do a better job of.
Despite Underwood's frustration of not getting Cockburn the ball in the second half, he still finished with 21 points (8-10 FG) and 10 rebounds. Dosunmu had 23 points (9-23 FG, 2-5 3PT) and 8 rebounds. Freshman guard Adam Miller also had 9 points (3-6 FG, 3-5 3PT), which were all scored in the first half.
Next up for Illinois is a road trip to Nebraska on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.