Illinois Defeats West Virginia at Aviano Air Base
Aug. 17, 2011
Aviano, Italy -
Illinois defeated West Virginia by the score of 47-26 in an exhibition scrimmage held Wednesday in front of approximately 500 military personnel and their families at the Aviano Air Base in Italy. The 20-minute contest was part of a special opportunity that also saw the Illini and Mountaineers hold a youth clinic for children of the Airmen and had each team participate in a 10-minute scrimmage against the Aviano varsity unit. In those games, Illinois defeated Aviano 26-12, while West Virginia topped Aviano 25-7. The three squads also held a dunk contest for the crowd with Illini junior Joseph Bertrand claiming the victory.
Illinois started strong against West Virginia, scoring the first seven points and opening up a double-digit lead three minutes into the scrimmage. The Illini finished the half like they started, scoring the final seven points on breakaway dunks by Meyers Leonard and D.J. Richardson and a 3-pointer by Sam Maniscalco to take a 27-8 lead into intermission.
The Illini led by at least 16 points the entire second half, pushing the margin to as many as 26 before the Mountaineer's tallied the final five points of the scrimmage.
The Illini shot a sizzling 62.5 percent, hitting 20-of-32 from the field and 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Illinois tallied 15 assists on 20 baskets and its pressure defense caused 15 Mountaineer turnovers.
Richardson led the Illini with 11 points and made all five of his shots. Myke Henry scored seven on 3-of-5 shooting while Maniscalco added six points on a pair of 3-pointers and had a game-high four assists. A total of 11 UI players entered the scoring column in the brief scrimmage, with Leonard, Nnanna Egwu and Tyler Griffey registering four points apiece, Brandon Paul adding three, and Joseph Bertrand, Crandall Head, Tracy Abrams and Mike Shaw all adding two.
Illinois travels to Como on Thursday and will face Castellanze Select at Noon Central Time.