The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

January 5, 2014

Fighting Illini deliver biggest blow

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois coach John Groce has a simple definition of his type of player.

“We want to be gentlemen off the court, and nasty, tough dudes on the court,’’ he said. “I think these guys exemplify that.’’

And through just two games of the Big Ten season, his Fighting Illini has used that toughness to get off to 2-0 league record for the first time since 2011 as they delivered a knockout blow to the Penn State Nittany Lions, 75-55, on Saturday afternoon at the State Farm Center.

Not so ironically, it was an open-handed punch by Penn State’s D.J. Newbill to the head of Illinois freshman Kendrick Nunn with 8 minutes, 38 seconds left in the contest that defined the toughness in the Illinois program.

The Fighting Illini (13-2 overall, 2-0 in the Big Ten) responded with a 18-6 run to seal the deal against the Nittany Lions, who fall to 9-6 overall and 0-2 in the league.

“Basically, just staying together, not letting things like that get into our head,’’ said Illinois senior Jon Ekey, who finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. “We are there for each other, no matter where we are. We’ve got each other backs, no matter what.’’

According to Groce, the key leader during that skirmish was junior guard Tracy Abrams.

“That was Abrams a lot and the other guys chipping in,’’ he said. “Tracy has been through a lot of wars. He really controlled that huddle with his leadership, talking about poise and composure. He talked about finishing the game the right way.

“He has grown by leaps and bounds, not only non-verbally but also vocally.’’

Being able to handle that difficult situation is something that Groce has stated since his first day with the Illini.

“We try to be as unflappable as we can be, but we understand that you get thrown curve balls in life,’’ he said. “You get thrown curve balls thrown at you in a possession, in a game, in a season — we want to make sure that we handle those with great toughness and great togetherness.

Text Only
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing [Duplicate] Harvick sets the pace at Indy INDIANAPOLIS — Growing up in Bakersfield, Calif., IndyCar driver Rick Mears was the childhood hero for Kevin Harvick.Mears is one of three men to have won four Indianapolis 500s and he has won a career-best six poles for the “Greatest Spectacle in Ra

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0727 - Dustbowl photo 1 Click Clak Tre wins consolation championship DANVILLE — Saturday’s Dustbowl action at the David S. Palmer Arena had a full day of action ending with the Men’s Division Consolation Championship Game. The Consolation Championship was played between Rantoul’s Mon Stars (Rantoul) and Click Clak Tre

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • No Headline Provided DANVILLE — Adult action started at the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Saturday with one title decided. Stacy Wells won the women's open singles division with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Katie Larck. The rest of the action was mostly semifinal play. IN

    July 27, 2014

  • Dans photo 27.jpg Dans get past Cavemen

    Shumaker hits a home run with two RBIs as Danville defeats Hannibal after delay

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0726 - Dans photo 1 Dans make most of second chance DANVILLE — Baseball can be a funny game, and as often is the case, a player can be the goat one minute, and the hero the next.Trevor Rucker blooped a shot down the right field line that caromed off the glove of Hannibal second baseman Jeff Smith to d

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

E-edition
NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014


Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

Must Read
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years