The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


November 29, 2012

Illini swats away Jackets

CHAMPAIGN —  Illinois guard Joseph Bertrand entered the summer wanting to expand his game.

The junior from Sterling spent hours in the gym working on his shot – especially his 3-point shot.

All of that time is paying dividends this season. Bertrand came off the bench to personally ignite and fuel a 10-0 second-half run as the 22nd-rated Fighting Illini improved to 8-0 with a 75-62 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 14th Annual ACC/Big East Challenge.

“Coach has us shooting a lot of free throws, everyone had to make 11,000 or more,” Bertrand said. “I think that really helped me with my shooting and skill development.

“They also had me working a lot on 3s – step back 3s and off the dribble 3s. Those really helped my confidence.”

And for the second game in a row, Bertrand provided the necessary spark to keep Illinois undefeated on the season as the Fighting Illini won their fourth straight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and they are 7-7 in the history of competition between the two leagues.

His improvement didn’t surprise Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory.

“He brings a lot of energy off the bench. He is a great athlete. He is just streaky enough to be dangerous. And he is playing with a lot of freedom and confidence, right now,” Gregory said. “Early in his career, he was just an athletic, slasher and driver. Obviously, he spent a lot of time working on his perimeter shooting and so forth.

“If he gets really consistent, he will be a quality option. He was a highly recruited player. You can see the package he brings to the table, and that is starting to develop and grow.”

Bertrand’s personal 10-0 run started with a driving layup with 6 minutes, 26 seconds left pulling Illinois within 54-52 of Georgia Tech. On the next two possessions, the 6-foot-6 junior drilled back-to-back 3-pointers giving the Illini the lead for good at 58-54. But he wasn’t done yet.

Illinois senior Brandon Paul came up with a steal and Bertrand finished on the offensive end with an acrobatic layup bringing all 12,224 at the Assembly Hall to their feet.

“It was a definitely a momentum builder,” said Paul, who had 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. “When Joe hit those 3s, I saw the confidence in his eyes.

“And then he had the loopy loop ridiculous layup, that you will probably see on SportsCenter. We see that every day.”

That 10-0 run was part of a 21-4 run for Illinois in the final 9:09 of the game.

“Defense ignited our offense during 21-4 run,” Groce said. “When we defend like that, and when we get stops, we can get out and run. We can points on the board in a hurry. And I thought that what happened during the 21-4 run to end the game.”

And how does he feel about bring Bertrand off the bench?

“I have a lot of confidence. He always competes. Joe, until you get to know him, he can sometimes come off as a quiet guy. But Joe has big-time energy,” Groce said. “I never ever, very rarely will watch practice film or game film and say Bertrand is not playing hard.

“He made some big plays on the offensive end and really ignited the 21-4 run.”

Joining Bertrand and Paul in double figures for Illinois were seniors Tyler Griffey (14 points) and D.J. Richardson (14).

Kammeon Holsey came off the bench to lead Georgia Tech (4-2) with 14 points, while Mfon Udofia and Jason Morris each contributed 10.

The Illini are idle until next Tuesday when Illinois hosts Western Carolina in a 7 p.m. contest at the Assembly Hall.

Text Only
  • SPT- Cn0418 - Covington softball photo 2 Trojans cruise to victory COVINGTON, Ind. - The Covington softball team had a big first inning as they scored five runs on their way to defeating Attica 11-1. Attica threatened to score in the first, getting Karrah Pattengale to second, but they were unable to drive her home.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lunger steps up for Buffaloes GEORGETOWN -- In only the second start of his career, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman pitcher Tyler Lunger pitched a five-hit complete game as the Buffaloes defeated Milford 8-2 on Thursday in Vermilion Valley Conference action. "I feel I threw well

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT - CN0418 - Danville boys tennis photo Maroons blitz young Vikings DANVILLE -- In the process of gaining experience, the Danville boys tennis team has taken a few lumps in the first few weeks of season. On Thursday afternoon, the Champaign Central Maroons delivered a few lessons to the younger Vikings with a 9-0 vic

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peelman pitches no-hitter as Vikings beat Maroons CHAMPAIGN -- Alissa Peelman pitched a no-hitter as the Danville High School softball team beat Champaign Central 11-0 in five innings on Thursday in Big 12 Conference action. Peelman was also 3-of-4 with three RBIs for the Vikings while Mackenzie Kin

    April 18, 2014

  • Thursday's Local Scores PREP BASEBALL At Georgetown Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 8, Milford 2 Milford 101 000 0 -- 2 5 10 GRFC 200 141 x -- 8 8 3 WP -- Tyler Lunger. LP -- Clayton Rieches. Two or more hits -- GRFC: Dylan Bina, Ethan Silva. 2B

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT - CN0417 - Andy Bott photo Better late than never for Bott BISMARCK -- Marshall golf coach Matt Grobe completely surprised Bismarck-Henning standout Andy Bott with an e-mail earlier this year. Bott, who is a three-time all-stater for the Blue Devils, was preparing to attend Illinois Wesleyan in the fall. "Ou

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0417- Westville softball photo Nourie, Tigers beat Comets 20-4 in five inning game MUNCIE -- On a very windy day which made playing softball tough for both teams, Westville defeated Oakwood in five innings 20-4 with some good offensive production and a solid pitching performance from Stefanie Nourie. Nourie got her first win of the

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- Cn0417 - Seeger baseball photo 2 Falcons make quick work of Pats WEST LEBANON, Ind. - North Vermillion sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning and scored seven runs en route to a 13-1 win over the homestanding Seeger Patriots. The visiting Falcons got five hits including doubles by Jordan West

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0417 - Local Roundup photo Salt Fork's Learnard pitches perfect game JAMAICA -- Salt Fork's Ross Learnard finally got back on the mound on Wednesday for the first time in a week and he did not disappoint, pitching a perfect game as the Salt Fork baseball team beat Schlarman Academy in five innings. "He had his breakin

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0416 - NV softball photo 2 Patriots smash Falcons CAYUGA, Ind. - Seeger took an early lead, extended it and then kept North Vermillion at bay as the Patriots defeated the host Falcons 14-3 in five innings. The visitors scored one run in the top of the first inning and, after North Vermillion went do

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

NCAA basketball
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
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies