Illinois Downs Eastern Washington, 66-50
Nov. 14, 2008
The Illini (1-0) found themselves in a surprising 35-35 tie at the half with the lightly regarded Eagles (0-1).
Illinois struggled on defense in the first half. The Illini couldn't stop Eagles' guard Benny Valentine and center Brandon Moore. Valentine, a transfer from Texas Tech, had 14 points in the first 20 minutes Moore had 11, plus six rebounds.
But Moore and Valentine went cold in the second half. Eastern scored just five points in the first 11 minutes of the half, and Illinois moved out to a 12-point lead that buried the Eagles.
Meacham scored nine of his points from on 3-point shots.
Valentine finished with 14 to lead Eastern Washington.