Coach: Secret to Illini's road win was hard work - KMOV.com

Coach: Secret to Illini's road win was hard work

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Illinois' Mike Davis, right, shoots over Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) By Jim Mone Illinois' Mike Davis, right, shoots over Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) By Jim Mone

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- There's no mystery in Bruce Weber's mind about why Illinois finally found a way to win a close game on the road Thursday night at Minnesota.  

Weber said the Illini (16-8, 6-5 Big Ten) finally scrapped and played hard enough to grab a game and win it.  

The 71-62 result ended a four-game road losing streak. It also gave the Illini a badly needed jolt as they fight for a place in the NCAA Tournament.  

Illinois had lost five of seven and slipped out of the Top 25 with a senior-heavy team that was once considered a Big ten title contender.  

Now, because of the losses, Weber says every game is a big game.  

The next test will be Sunday at home against No. 14 Purdue.  

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
 

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