OVC Ball Statbox
|1-3 (0-0 OVC)|
|3-0 (0-0 Big 10)|
|24/56 (42.9%)||Field Goals||40/67 (59.7%)|
|5/17 (29.4%)||3-Point FG||14/25 (56.0%)|
|13/15 (86.7%)||Free Throws||13/18 (72.2%)|
|26 (7/19)||Rebounds (O/D)||36 (10/26)|
|2nd Chance Pts|
|Points off TO|
|Pts in the Paint|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
Austin Peay offense
|Points:||Freeman (13)||Hill, Rice (16)|
|Rebounds:||Davis (5)||Hill, Rice (6)|
|Assists:||Freeman (5)||Tate (5)|
|Steals:||Three Tied With 1||Nunn (3)|
Illinois connected of 14-of-25 three-point attempts, including 7-of-11 in the second half, as the Fighting Illini rolled past Austin Peay 107-66 in preliminary round action of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
It was the second straight contest the Illini converted double-digit three pointers. They connected on 15-of-28 three pointers against Coppin State Sunday.
The three-point barrage was just part of an outstanding shooting night for Illinois. It shot 75 percent (24 of 32) from the floor in the second half, finishing the game at 40 of 67 (60 percent).
“They really shot the ball well,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “It has been a long time since I have seen a team shoot the basketball like that. I don’t think at times we offered much resistance, except maybe the first six or eight minutes of the game.
“They are hard to guard because their spacing is so good. You have to be at couple of spots at the same time. I like what they do.”
Illinois, now 3-0 on the season, began the game 2-of-6 from three-point range and then went 12 of 19 the rest of the way. Finding that range coincided with a huge run the Illini used to end the half. After Ed Dyson hit a three pointer with 12:56 left in the half to cut the deficit to 14-13, Illinois ended the half outscoring the Govs 32-13 the rest of the way. And the three-point barrage began when 6-10, 250-pound center Nnanna Egwu stepped out behind the arc to nail his second three pointer of the young season. Illinois rained threes from that point on.
Illinois’ coach John Groce stated prior to the game his team’s emphasis on stopping the inside duo of Chris Horton and Chris Freeman, who entered the contest averaging more than 33 points per game combined. At halftime each had two points. Freeman bounced back in the second half to finish with 13 points but Horton, who ended with six points on 1-of-7 shooting, never emerged.
“We just never got it going inside,” Loos said. “Our big guys have played pretty well for us so far, but not tonight.
“They got after us a little bit. We were forced to put it on the floor and we got in a little bit of a hurry. Early we made some plays and some shots off the dribble, but when that ended we got in trouble. We have to get Freeman and Horton the ball against anybody, not just in games like tonight.”
Five Illinois players scored in double figures, led by guard Rayvonte Rice and Malcolm Hill, each who finished with 16 points. The duo combined for 12-of-13 shooting, with Hill the only one of the duo to miss a shot. Kendrick Nunn came off the bench to score 14 points, including 4-of-4 behind the arc.
In addition to Freeman’s 13, Khalil Davis scored attained his first double-digit scoring effort with 12 points on 5-0f-7 shooting. He also led the Govs in rebounding with five. Freshman Josh Robinson offered relief from the bench with 11 points. Freeman also had five assists and two blocks for the Governors.
The Govs, who were 3-of-15 from three-point range in each of the previous two games, were a little better against Illinois, shooting 5-of-17 (29.4 percent). Overall, APSU shot just 24 of 56 (42.9 percent) from the floor—the Govs have shot less than 45 percent from the floor in all four games this season.
The Govs saving grace was at the free-throw line. APSU, which shot just two free throws in the opening half, finished 13 of 15 (86.7 percent).
APSU, now 1-3 on the young season, will remain on the road as it travels east to face Indiana State, 4:30 p.m., Monday, at the Hulman Center in a second Continental Tire Las Vegas tourney prelim contest.