Illini Defeat Southern Indiana in Exhibition Finale, 76-67
Nov. 2, 2010
Champaign, Ill. - 13th-ranked Illinois wrapped up exhibition play Tuesday evening, defeating Division II Southern Indiana 76-67 at the Assembly Hall. Senior Mike Tisdale scored a game-high 21 points while fellow senior Mike Davis recorded a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Sophomores D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul also scored in double figures with 10 points apiece and sophomore Tyler Griffey added eight points and seven boards.
Illinois' defense held Southern Indiana to just 35 percent shooting, including 26 percent from 3-point range. But the Illini committed 23 turnovers and permitted USI 18 offensive rebounds, and those extra opportunities allowed Southern Indiana to keep the margin close throughout the night. Illinois shot 42 percent from the field, made 15-of-19 from the free throw line, and outrebounded the Screaming Eagles 49-to-40.
After maintaining a lead of between 4-to-6 points for the majority of the first half, the Illini put together an 8-0 run to open up a 35-23 advantage with 3:21 left. Underclassmen accounted for all four baskets during the UI run, beginning with a layup by Crandall Head, followed by jumpers by Paul and Griffey and concluding with a Griffey layup. The Illini went into the locker room with a 41-32 lead.
Southern Indiana opened the second half with an 8-0 run of its own to narrow the Illini lead to one point. After USI tied it at 47, the Illini scored six unanswered on a pair of free throws by Tisdale and layups by Griffey and Paul to move ahead 53-47 with less than 12 minutes remaining. Southern Indiana would get no closer than five points during the final 10 minutes. The Illini hit a trio of 3-pointers, two by Paul and one by Tisdale, and made 6-of-7 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Illinois opens the regular season Monday, hosting UC Irvine at 7 pm at Assembly Hall.