At times, it felt like there were more turnovers and missed shots than points for both teams but in the end, IL outlasted Austin Peay in a 64-57 win at State Farm Center Wednesday night.
Michael Finke led the Illini with 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Leron Black posted 16 points and 4 rebounds. Finke, who is still struggling with his outside shot, moved his game inside, and ended up 7-12 from the field.
Give him the ball. The Governors pressured the ball, forcing 25 Illini (7-3) turnovers, just one shy of the all-time IL record at the State Farm Center. IL committed 25 turnovers in the game, a number that Underwood does not care for very much.
Both teams shot 2-13 from three-point range.
Austin Peay (4-5) led the game for 21:55, but IL (7-3) held on in a contest that featured seven lead changes.
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The Governors were led by freshman Terry Taylor and senior Averyl Ugba. However, the Illini did get to the free throw line 28 times in the game, making 20 of those attempts and limiting the Governors to just 7-13 from the line.
Austin Peay: The Governors are off until next Saturday, Dec. 16.
The Illini improved their lackluster shooting in the first half with a 50 percent second half to finish just under 40 percent (21-of-53) for the game. IL also won the rebounding battle 38-31.
It was the first lineup change IL has made to the starting five this season. "I don't know if we came out flat but we didn't have enough energy and that's something that Coach Underwood kept challenging us with at halftime, in timeouts". This game tonight was like two kids in a sandbox, with both people knowing what the other was going to do. "We knew they were going to deny it so we just got to learn from it and play tougher".
Overall, this should be a way for IL to get back on the winning track and maybe implement some new wrinkles into their play. The game will also be broadcast locally on WDAN-AM 1490 and WDNL-FM 102.1, as well as statewide on the 47-station Fighting Illini Sports Network.
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