The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

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.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - CN0423 - Danville girls track photo 1 Record-setting day for Hall DANVILLE -- Athletes, coaches and fans were all giving advice to Danville sophomore Imani Hall in the high jump. While she appreciated the encouragement, Hall just focused on what she had been doing in practice for the past few weeks and it worked. H

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0423 - Danville baseball photo Vikings no match for Tigers, loss 11-3 DANVILLE -- Urbana came a calling on Danville at Danville Stadium for a Big 12 Conference game with its ace Conner Gremar (Parkland College recruit) on the mound. The Tigers also brought their hitting sticks with them to defeat Danville 11-3. Danvill

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-CN0423 - Seeger softball photo 1 Patriots take over in sixth, beat Mustangs WEST LEBANON, Ind. - Seeger hosted Fountain Central in softball and the lead went back and forth through much of the game. All that changed in the sixth inning when the Patriots sent 11 batters to the plate and scored a half-dozen runs on seven hits

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vikings softball easily cruises past Chargers DANVILLE -- Alissa Peelman overcame a tough start and hit a home run as the Danville softball team beat Champaign Centennial 12-2 in Big 12 conference action on Tuesday. Peelman gave up both of the Chargers' runs in the first inning but only gave up

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0422 - Salt Fork SB photo secondary Storm cruise past Cornjerkers CATLIN -- On a windy and drizzly afternoon in Catlin, two teams with a combined 16 wins and one loss met up in what seemed to be on paper a heavy weight fight in Vermilion Valley Conference play. The Salt Fork Storm came out of the gates strong and b

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0422 - Local roundup photo LOCAL ROUNDUP: Cox tosses no-hitter for Westville DANVILLE -- Westville right-hander Tanner Cox was in total control on Monday against the Schlarman Academy Hilltoppers at Danville Stadium. Cox tossed a five-inning perfect game, striking out 11 of the 15 batters he faced as the Tigers defeated the H

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Schedule TUESDAY Prep Baseball Fountain Central at Seeger, 3:30 p.m. Turkey Run at Covington, 4 p.m. Heritage at Schlarman Academy, 4:30 p.m. Hoopeston Area at Milford, 4:30 p.m. Urbana at Danville, 4:30 p.m. Prep Softball Fountain Central at Seeger, 3:30 p.m

    April 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided PREP BASEBALL At Bismarck Oakwood 12, Bismarck-Henning 1 Oakwood 213 121 2 -- 12 16 0 Bismarck-Henning 000 100 0 -- 1 4 4 WP -- Taylor Turner. LP -- Strawser. 2B -- Turner, Slade. RBIs -- Landon Turner 2, Slade 2, Anderson 2, Girton, Vinson, Abbott.

    April 22, 2014

  • SPT- CN0420 - Danville baseball photo 1 Vikings continue to learn Vikings continue to learn BY AARON PATTERSON sports@dancomnews.com

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0420- NV Softball photo 2 The Mustangs, Falcons split twinbill VEEDERSBURG, Ind. - Too many mistakes cost the Fountain Central softball team any chance of defeating North Vermillion in the first game of their double header. At least that is how Mustang head coach Allison Alexander saw the game. "We had nine erro

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

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
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
NDN Video
BASE Jumpers Set World Record Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus