The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


December 5, 2012

Illini get past game Catamounts

CHAMPAIGN —  It’s hard to tell what a few days of practice can do to a team.

After a stretch of six games in 12 days, the Fighting Illini had a few days to work on some fundamentals, and won their ninth game to start the 2012-13 season, although they survived a scare, outlasting the Catamounts of Western Carolina 72-64 on Tuesday night at the Assembly Hall in Champaign.

Illinois, who came into the game ranked No. 13 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today coach’s poll, struggled all evening long.

Although the Illini only committed 11 turnovers in the game, they mishandled the ball quite a bit, but managed to regain control — thus minimizing the turnover total.

“We need to take better care of the ball, and that begins with me,” Illini guard Tracy Abrams said.

The Illini, who never trailed in the ballgame, took a 32-22 lead into the halftime locker room. Although at certain times, they looked a bit sluggish. The Catamounts whittled away at the lead, and the game remained close throughout the second half with Western Carolina tying the game on several occasions down the in the second half.

“I really like Illinois’ team, and they played well down the stretch, but I also like our team. However, we are a tired bunch, having been on the road for what seems like forever,” Western Carolina coach Larry Hunter said after the game.

This was the seventh straight road game for the Catamounts, dating back to nearly a month ago.

Illinois, who struggled from beyond the arc for just the second time this season, made just 7-24 from the perimeter tonight, a sharp contrast from what they have been doing thus far this season.

“The players are learning that you have to play a complete game of 40 minutes, and tonight was proof of that,” Illinois coach John Groce said after the game. “We didn’t play like we practiced, and that falls on me.”

The Catamounts won the battle of the boards, outrebounding the Illini by a 41-34 margin.

“I thought (Tawaski) King was a beast in there tonight and really outplayed our guys in the paint,” Groce said of Western Carolina’s big man. “I will be interested to see how he does the rest of the season for them,” Groce added.

Brandon Paul led Illinois in scoring with 14 points, while D. J. Richardson and Abrams added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

“We need to be more aggressive in the game, and not rely on three pointers so much,” Richardson said of his team’s performance.

With the win, Illinois improves to 9-0 on the season, and John Groce becomes the first coach to start his UI career in over 100 years.

All 10 players that Groce used in the game scored for the Illini, including Mike Shaw, who saw limited action in the first half, but hit a key three pointer in that stretch.

“I thought Mike (Shaw) has been playing better in practice recently, and with the exception of the shot he took, played pretty well while he was in there”,Groce said of his sophomore forward.

Western Carolina, who falls to 3-6 with the loss, was led in scoring by Preston Ross, who had a game high 17 points. James Sinclair added 13, while King chipped in 10 for the Catamounts, who shot 39 percent from the field, including 9-21 from beyond the arc.

The Illini will get their first real test this coming Saturday evening, when they travel west to Spokane, Wash. to battle the 10th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. The game is set to tip off Saturday evening at 9 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2, as well as on WDAN-AM 1490 and WDNL-FM 102.1, as well as the rest of the Illini Radio Network.

Text Only
  • SPT - CN0821 - GeoRF photo 1 Realizing potential GEORGETOWN — Ask almost anyone in Vermilion County about the Georgetown-Ridge Farm football team and the typical response you will get will talk about their talent.And this season is no different.The Buffaloes return 10 starters from last year’s play

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vikings compete in Classic BLOOMINGTON — The Danville boys golf team ended up 22nd as a team at the Raider Classic at the Den Golf Course on WednesdayReed Krynski led the Vikings with a score of 91 on the par 72 course, with Christian Montgomery scoring a 97, Tristan Wolfe an

    August 21, 2014

  • SPT - CN0820 - BisHenn photo 1 Going the extra mile BISMARCK — Bismarck-Henning coach Mark Dodd has really enjoyed the last few years.Not just because of the two straight Vermilion Valley Conference titles and a almost three-year unbeaten run in regular season action, but because of working with playe

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • LOCAL ROUNDUP: Trojans defeat Chargers in volleyball opener CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — It took all five sets but the Covington Lady Trojans opened the year with a hard-fought 24-26, 25-22, 25-21, 19-25, 16-14 victory over the North Montgomery Chargers in prep volleyball action on Tuesday night.Brooke Ahrens led t

    August 20, 2014

  • SPT - CN0819 - Seeger photo 1 Patriots make changes WEST LEBANON, Ind. – Success for the Seeger Patriot football team this season will depend on two things.They will rely on technique and teamwork to reach their goals.“We’ve got a little bit of size, a little bit of speed and a few guys with a lot of

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • B-H's Warren claims Urbana Kick-Off Classic URBANA — Bismarck-Henning’s David Warren kicked off his senior season in style, winning the Urbana Kick-Off Classic at the Urbana Country Club.Warren shot a 4-over 76 to earn a one-stroke victory over Champaign Centennial’s Isaac Overman (77), while

    August 19, 2014

  • SPT - CN0817 - North Vermillion photo 1 Trying to fill big holes CAYUGA, Ind. — Brayden Woodard and his senior teammates on the 2013 North Vermillion football team left their mark on the Wabash River Conference.The Falcons won back-to-back undefeated league titles and they enter this season with a 15-game winning

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0816 - Fountain Central photo 2 New names, same goals VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — While the names might change, the goals and expectations for the Fountain Central football team remain the same.The Mustangs, who went 11-2 last year with a sectional championship, are looking to replace 60 percent of their offens

    August 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0815 - Covington football photo 1 Trojans' experience could be key COVINGTON, Ind. – The Covington football team enters this season on a positive note. The Trojans lost only five seniors to graduation, so team hopes to build on its many returning players.“We’re a year old and stronger,” said Covington head coach Tra

    August 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Voles set to host Jamboree DANVILLE — For the eighth year, the Vermilion Voles Vintage Base Ball club will invite other clubs in the Midwest to Kennekuk County Park on Saturday for the “Uncle Joe” Cannon Base Ball Jamboree.The event will feature four teams with the Voles, the

    August 15, 2014

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:

Must Read
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers
NDN Video
Rapper Almost Walks Off CNN Over Ferguson Coverage Whoa! Jimmy Fallon Shaves Jared Leto's Beard Amazing Encounter With Sea Otter Caught on Video 2 American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital VIDEO: Goliath Grouper eats shark in one bite US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Motorcyclist Sticks Landing Sicilian hilltop homes on sale for one euro Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Joel McHale Interviews Chelsea This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan