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    Illinois Shuts Down Western Carolina, 58-35
    Shaun Pruitt

    Shaun Pruitt

    Dec. 17, 2007

    Box Score |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois leaned on its big men Monday night, getting 13 points from Mike Tisdale and 11 more from Shaun Pruitt in a 58-35 win over Western Carolina.

    Pruitt, a 6-foot-10 senior center, was no surprise. He entered the game as Illinois' leading scorer at 12 points a game. But Tisdale, a 7-foot-1 freshman center, averaged just 3.8 points a game before Monday.

    Illinois (6-3) endured a rough first half, highlighted only by Tisdale's eight points. The Illini went just over six minutes without scoring during one stretch.

    Sophomore guard Brandon Giles led Western Carolina (3-7, 0-2) with 13 points. He was the only Catamount to score in double figures.

    Illinois was the second of stop on a two-game Big Ten tour for the Catamounts. Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., No. 13 Indiana coasted to a 100-52 win.

    Tisdale was the difference for Illinois. He went on a 6-0 run toward the end of the first half, scoring on a pair of soft jump shots and a dunk, to build a 26-15 lead.

    Those points effectively put the game out of reach for the Catamounts, who shot 27.1 percent from the field.

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