The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

November 19, 2013

Illinois gets tough with Bradley

Fighting Illini improves to 4-0 with win over the Braves

CHAMPAIGN — A year ago, the Illinois men’s basketball team wore bracelets with TNT on them.

That stood for “Toughness and Togetherness.”

On Sunday afternoon at the State Farm Center, the Fighting Illini revived those thoughts with a 81-55 victory over the Bradley Braves.

“I really, really liked our toughness and our togetherness,’’ Illinois coach John Groce said. “I thought we were really ready to play.

“I loved our effort, and our attitude was off the charts.’’

And Illinois (4-0) set the tone in the early moments of Sunday’s game as junior center Nnanna Egwu had a pair of blocks in the first nine minutes of the game.

Bradley, who shot a dismal 28.1 percent (9-of-32) in the first half, basically stopped trying to get into the lane and the Braves (3-1) settled for majority perimeter shots.

“I thought they played really physical and tough — especially in the lane,’’ Bradley coach Geno Ford said. “We were soft, it’s hard to come up with a way to spin it. We have to get tougher. I think the game was won in the lane.’’

And it wasn’t just on the defensive end that the Fighting Illini were winning the battle in the paint as they made 17 of their 28 field goals inside of the lane, including a pair of spectacular dunks from Rayvonte Rice.

Additionally, Illinois had 19 offensive rebounds which led directly to 13 second-chance points and the Fighting Illini outrebounded the Braves 49-25.

“The backboard was the entire story,’’ Ford said. “They were way more physical, and they were tougher to get to the balls.’’

Groce appreciated the compliments from the Bradley coach, who is both a good friend of the Illinois staff and the brother to Illinois assistant coach Dustin Ford.

“Tough and smart certainly beats soft and stupid,’’ Groce said. “In over 19 years, I’ve seen a little bit of all four of those qualities. Tonight, I thought we were pretty tough and I thought we had some intelligence and purpose behind what we were doing. I thought guys were pretty locked in. They had a little edge to them. I thought our toughness was good.’’

Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • No Headline Provided HELP WANTEDThe Danville Commercial-News is seeking sports-minded individuals to cover local sporting events this school year. An individual should have their own transportation, and be able to work nights and weekends.Anyone interested in the opportu

    August 13, 2014

  • SPT - CN0812 - High School football photo 1 Young Vikings get started DANVILLE — For the second year in a row, high school football teams in Illinois have had to make a change in their preseason practice schedules.A year ago, the IHSA developed a new policy when it came to acclimatization period of early-season practic

    August 12, 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
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
NDN Video
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 Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot Christina Aguilera Has a Baby Girl Marvel Fans: Watch Dancing Baby Groot Over and Over! Raw: Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson Gov. Rick Perry responds to indictment