No. 23 Illinois routs Southern
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half, Dain Dainja added 12 points and Quincy Guerrier had 10 to lead No. 23 Illinois to an 88-60 rout of Southern on Sunday night.
A 17-point run in the final five minutes of the first half gave Illinois a 45-27 lead at the break. The Illini (4-1) weren’t threated by the Jaguars in the second half, extending their lead to as many as 34 points.
Nine of the 10 players who dressed for Southern (1-4) scored. Tai’Reon Joseph led the way with 16 points, and Jordan Mitchell added 13 points.
Illinois, which came into the game ranked 15th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (34%), held Southern to 37% from the field, including 5 of 24 from long distance.
The Illini were without starting power forward Coleman Hawkins for the second straight game. He has a sore knee. Backup point guard Niccolo Moretti suffered a sprained ankle late in the first half and didn’t return.
Illinois was playing its third game in six days — the only time during the regular season when the team had just one day between games.
The Illini beat Valparaiso 87-64 on Friday, outscoring the Beacons 49-19 in the second half after trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half.
Even though both teams played Friday, Southern looked gassed before the end of the first half. The Jaguars were worn down by the Illini’s deep roster in the first 20 minutes and had no answer for Shannon’s drives to the hoop.
Southern: The Jaguars will play at Valparaiso on Saturday.
Illinois: The Illini will end a season-opening six-game homestand by hosting Western Illinois on Friday.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball
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