Illinois Postgame Notes vs. Georgia Tech
Nov. 28, 2012
No. 22/22 Illinois 75, Georgia Tech 62
1. With tonight's win, Illinois improves to 8-0, marking the second-straight year that the Illini have started a season with at least eight wins. Last year's team started 10-0 before falling to UNLV on Dec. 17, 2011.
2. The win was Illinois' fourth-straight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and brings the Illini's all-time record in the Challenge to 7-7. The Illini now have the most wins by a Big Ten team in Challenge history (Ohio State entered tonight with six wins and was still playing as of 10:30 pm CT).
3. Illinois head coach John Groce became the first Illini coach to win his first Challenge game. The previous three Illini coaches all lost their inaugural Challenge contest (Lon Kruger in 1999, Bill Self in 2000 and Bruce Weber in 2003).
4. Groce also became the first coach to start his UI career 8-0 in over 100 years. The only Illinois coach to get off to a better start was Fletcher Lane, who won his first 12 games at Illinois (1907-08), although 11 of those 12 victories came against club teams.
5. With today's win, the Illini have now won 19-straight home games against non-conference opponents. Their last loss was March 24, 2010, against Dayton in the NIT. The last regular season non-conference home loss for the Illini was against Clemson on Dec. 2, 2008, a string of 31 straight games.
6. The Fighting Illini made a season-high 14 three-pointers on the night, just one off the Assembly Hall record of 15 and two off the school record of 16. It's the seventh time in eight games this season they hit at least 10 threes. Illinois entered the game leading the nation in three-point field goals made at 10.9 per game.
7. Junior guard Joseph Bertrand went on a solo 10-0 run late in the second half to give the Illini control of the game. With Illinois trailing 58-54, the run started with a layup at the 6:26 mark, followed by back-to-back threes at 6:01 and 5:25, then finished with an acrobatic layup and a foul at 4:48, giving the Illini a 64-58 lead. Georgia Tech would get no closer than four the rest of the way.
8. Illinois finished the game on a 21-4 run in the last 6:26, to turn a 58-54 deficit into a 75-62 victory.
9. Illinois again had a balanced attack, as four different players scored in double figures led by Brandon Paul and Joseph Bertrand, who each had 15 points, while Tyler Griffey and D.J. Richardson each had 14 points. Paul also added team-highs in rebounds and assists with seven each. On Sunday against Gardner-Webb, all four of those players shared the team lead with13 points.