Illini scrape past Austin Peay to end skid

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 7, 2017

IL (7-3, 0-2) turned the ball over 25 times and trailed 28-26 at the half to Austin Peay (2-5 against Division I competition this season) but a surge in the late second half propelled the Illini to a 64-57 win over the Governors on Wednesday night at the State Farm Center.

Illinois, who had erased a 22-point deficit against Maryland on Sunday night, only to lose in overtime, appeared very tentative for much of the game, something that Underwood has preached time and again.

Underwood and Figger coached together at two stops, Kansas State and SC, so their styles are similar. The junior is averaging 12.9 points a game off the bench.

"Honestly I've worked the hardest this offseason that I've ever worked and right I've worked the hardest I've ever worked", said FInke.

Black scored 16 points (5-9 FG) and brought down four rebounds. Black did, however, have 5 turnovers in the game, something he attributes to his aggressive style of play. "I probably did a awful job with some of stuff around the four-minute mark, but I gotta give IL a lot of credit, they took us out of ball-reversal and things like that".

IL (7-3, 0-2) trailed at the half 28-26, as the Governors took advantage of some sloppy play by the Illini.

In his first career start, Williams finished with five points, four rebounds and a team-high three steals. IL was 20-of-28 at the line, while Austin Peay was only able to hit 7-of-13 attempts. Austin Peay gets a 10-day break before playing Evansville on December 16.

Austin Peay led by four points with 5:53 minutes left in the second half before IL responded with an 18-7 run to close the game.

The Governors were led by freshman Terry Taylor and senior Averyl Ugba. IL won the battle of the boards by a 38-31 margin, and only had 9 assists.

It was the first lineup change IL has made to the starting five this season.

"That was their coach not letting him (Jordan) getting any shots, and he told me he was going to do it and he did it". Two others, including Ogba, collected four fouls for the Governors.

Illinois, off to an 0-2 start in Big Ten play, travels to Las Vegas on Saturday to face Nevada-Las Vegas. UNLV defeated Oral Roberts 92-66 on Tuesday evening at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and come into the game with the Illini at 7-2 overall.

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