Illinois Dominates Wayne State, 79-51, in Exhibition Opener
Nov. 1, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Sophomore Meyers Leonard scored a team-high 18 points to lead Illinois to a 79-51 rout of Wayne State in an exhibition contest on Tuesday night at the Assembly Hall. Leonard was one of four Illini in double figures along with juniors Brandon Paul (16) and D.J. Richardson (11) and freshman Nnanna Egwu (10). The Illini shot 49.1 percent from the field and reached the free throw line 36 times.
Following a slow start, the Orange and Blue carried a 35-32 advantage into halftime. The Illini turned it around in the second half, using a 22-1 run to gain a 57-38 lead and never look back. Illinois outscored the Wildcats 44-19 in the second stanza while shooting over 50 percent.
The Illini dominated inside, holding a 40-8 advantage on points in the paint, and forced 21 turnovers while scoring 29 points off the WSU miscues. Illinois also outrebounded Wayne State, 34-27, as freshman Mike Shaw grabbed a game-high eight boards. The Illini also tallied nearly a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio with 15 assists and only 8 turnovers. Freshman Tracy Abrams dished out a game-high five assists.
Illinois will play its second and final exhibition game on Monday, Nov. 7 against Quincy at the Assembly Hall. The contest will tip at 7:30 p.m. and be broadcast on BTN.com.