The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

November 27, 2012

Tyler Griffey buries the game-winner

CHAMPAIGN —  It takes a certain type of player to hit a game-winning shot.

Illinois senior forward Tyler Griffey was ready, willing and able when Brandon Paul threw him the ball with about six seconds left in Sunday’s game with Gardner-Webb.

Griffey didn’t hesitate, the 6-foot-9 forward from Wildwood, Mo., buried a 25-foot 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left, giving the Fighting Illini a 63-62 victory over the Bulldogs.

It is the seventh straight win for Illinois, which moved into the Associated Press Top-25 Poll on Monday at No. 22.

“I give credit to Griffey,’’ said Gardner-Webb coach Chris Holtmann. “Griffey stepped up and did what upperclassmen do.

“I thought he made some big plays in the second half.’’

The 3-pointer from the top of the key was all part of a 13-point second half for Griffey, who shared team-high scoring honors with Paul, D.J. Richardson and Joseph Bertrand.

And where does this shot rank for Griffey?

“It’s up there,’’ he said. “Brandon made a great read and a great pass. I knew it was good as soon as I let it go.’’

But did he really expect to take the final shot?

“With the play coach (John) Groce drew up, all Brandon had to make a read,’’ Griffey said. “I knew they were going to switch it, and both guys went to Brandon and he made a great pass.’’

And would he have taken it before this year?

“I don’t know,’’ Griffey said. “It’s different, definitely. I’m glad I took it today.’’

The shot by Griffey came just seconds after Gardner-Webb’s Tashan Newsome banked in a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.

But according to Holtmann, Newsome was also the guy that should have been guarding Griffey.

“Our call was black, which is a switch of the on-ball (screen) late,’’ Holtmann said. “My senior didn’t hear it and we had two guys on Paul.’’

Conversely, Groce said the same thing about the Bulldogs’ 3-pointer from Kevin Hartley with 52.8 seconds left that gave Gardner-Webb a 59-58 lead.

And that turned into his game-winning play.

“They came in low on it, we lost vision, they slipped it and made a 3,’’ he said. “We kind of ran the same thing. We flattened them out with our three other guys. I basically (told Brandon), if they double you or send two guys your way, you have Griffey. If they don’t, make a play.

“Brandon made a great read, threw it back to him and Griffey made a big-time shot.’’

On the previous possession, Paul hit a driving shot, giving Illinois a 60-59 lead as the two teams exchanged the lead four times in the final minute.

“It was a whale of a game,’’ said Holtmann, who received a lengthy hug from Groce.

The two coaches were teammates at Taylor University in Indiana, and Holtman was on Groce’s staff at Ohio.

“Obviously, I’ve got a lot of affection and care for John and his family and the staff here,’’ said Holtmann, noting the game with Illinois was scheduled before Groce was named the coach. “He was just really complimentary of our team and our approach and felt like he got one that was in the balance and maybe, certainly, could have gone either way.’’

And according to Groce, this contest was in doubt because Gardner-Webb (4-4) did two very important things.

“I thought they were the tougher team for the bulk of the game,’’ Groce said. “And, I thought they executed better than we did for the bulk of the game.

“They deserved it, they did. But having said that, as I told the guys in the lockerroom, we’re not going to give it back.’’

So, why did the Illini, who improved to 7-0, still have a chance to win the game on Griffey’s last second shot?

“Our older guys stepped up — seniors die hard,’’ said Groce, referring to Griffey, Paul, Richardson, Sam McLaurin and especially Bertrand, who is actually a redshirt junior.

“He might as well be one,’’ Groce added. “It wasn’t for him and his energy level off the bench, it could have been really ugly early.’’

Bertrand had seven points, three rebounds and a steal in the first half. Because of that, he played 18 of the 20 minutes in the second half, adding six points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

“I was glad that I was able to come in and bring some energy to get the team back going,’’ Bertrand said.

And both Bertrand and Groce know that the Illini will need a better performance on Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Illinois will host Georgia Tech in an 8 p.m. game at the Assembly Hall.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - CN0730 - Dans baseball photo 1 Dans continue to struggle DANVILLE — The Danville Dans haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball in the second half of the season. After taking the West Division title in the first half with a 19-11 record, Danville has played sub-.500 baseball in the second half and c

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0730 - Illini football media photo Experienced Illini looking for success CHICAGO — Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman is hoping that the third time is the charm.Beckman begins his third season at the helm of the Illini, and with the nucleus of last season’s team returning, it may finally be time for Illinois

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - CN0730 - Purdue football media photo Hazell hopes for smooth second season CHICAGO — After a season to forget in 2013, Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is expecting better results as his team begins training camp next week. Hazell spoke to the media during the 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days at the Hilton Chicago, and afte

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballHannibal Cavemen at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.THURSDAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Dustbowl photo 2 Repeat performance Championship Sunday was in full swing at the 42nd Annual Dustbowl at David S. Palmer Arena. In the men’s division it was defending champions Leek & Sons against the Hickory Beavers. Leek & Sons made it back to back championships with a 29-point victo

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0729 - Brickyard photo Gordon kisses 'The Bricks' for 5th time INDIANAPOLIS — The common gift for a 20th anniversary is either china or platinum.But for Jeff Gordon on Sunday, he was more interested in the PPG Trophy made of gold, sterling silver and alloy aluminum and the native of Pittsboro, Ind., wasn’t going

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old friends meet again in city tourney DANVILLE — Gene Gourley and Bryan Stine have a lot of history on the tennis court. The two of them, who have been playing each other at the Danville Tennis Center for over 20 years, renewed their rivalry again on Sunday during the Greater Danville Ar

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Junior Dustbowl photo Free throws decide junior Dustbowl title DANVILLE — In the boys’s Division it was DV Stars vs. Squad for the Championship with the Squad coming back from an early 16-point deficit to beat DV Stars 59-55 in overtime. Squads Parker Lee made one of two free throws with 18 seconds left in regul

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keys leads College Girls to Dustbowl title The girls division championship between County Girls and College Girls was a close battle between two fine teams. The College Girls never trailed in the second half and squeaked out a victory over the County Girls 32-29.After a timeout was called by

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Big Ten Media mug Big Ten unveils new look CHICAGO — Welcome to the new look Big Ten.The Big Ten Conference held its 43rd annual Football Media Days on Monday at the Hilton Chicago and in the first day of the two day event, a lot of different topics were discussed, and a few more concepts fo

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'