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    Illinois Downs Eastern Washington, 66-50
    Chester Frazier contributed 13 points in Friday's win. (File Photo)

    Chester Frazier contributed 13 points in Friday's win. (File Photo)

    Nov. 14, 2008

    Box Score

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Trent Meacham scored 18 points and Chester Frazier added 13 to help Illinois hold off Eastern Washington 66-50 in the season opener for both teams on Friday.

    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.

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