Illinois takes down St. Francis (NY), 89-64

Tyler Griffey scored 17 points and Tracy Abrams had 15, leading Illinois to an 89-64 win over St. Francis (N.Y.) Monday night. Brandon Paul added 14 points and six assists for the Illini (2-0).

Akeem Johnson led St. Francis (1-1) with 13 points, Ben Mockford added 12 and Jalen Cannon had 11 rebounds.

Illinois couldn’t shake the Terriers early, but closed the first half on a 15-0 run to take a 45-25 lead. The Illini held St. Francis scoreless for 7:11 during the spurt.

Illinois had only eight turnovers, something that concerned first-year coach John Groce during exhibition play.

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Sam McLaurin gets up on flush:

Brandon Paul throws down dunk:

FINAL: Behind a solid offensive effort, Illinois defeated St. Francis (NY) 89-64 on Monday at Assembly Hall in Champaign. Illinois (2-0) shot 50 percent from the field (32-of-64). The Fighting Illini shot 11-of-25 from three-point range during the game, good for 44 percent.

Tyler Griffey gave Illinois a boost, thanks to 17 points and 7-of-10 shooting from the field.

The Fighting Illini went into the locker room with the momentum and came out of the second half flying as well. Illinois led 27-23 in the first before it widened the margin to 29 points with a 31-6 run that ended early in the second half.

The Fighting Illini also got double-digit games from Nnanna Egwu, who scored 10, Brandon Paul, who scored 14, and Tracy Abrams, who scored 15.

Akeem Johnson scored 13 points for St. Francis (1-1) in the game. The Terriers shot 7-of-17 from three-point range during the game, good for 41 percent. More St. Francis (NY) scoring came from Ben Mockford, who scored 12.

HALFTIME: Illinois closed the first half strong, using a 25-6 run late in the frame to take a 45-25 lead over St. Francis (NY) into the locker room. The Fighting Illini were leading 30-25 when they used a 15-0 spurt to widen their advantage to a 20-point margin.

Illinois fired often and fired with accuracy from distance, hitting 47 percent (7-of-15) of its three-point attempts. Illinois got points from seven different players.

Tyler Griffey led the way for the Fighting Illini in the first half, with 13 points, and Tracy Abrams added 10 points.

The Terriers’ leading scorer, Akeem Johnson, has been shut down thus far. The senior enters halftime with three points, well below his season average of 15. Seven St. Francis (NY) players scored in the half.

St. Francis’ Kevin Douglas already has seven points.

John Groce

US Presswire

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Chris Monroe on 11/12/2012 @ 8:29pm EST Said:

Go Fighting Illini!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!