In a game between undefeated teams, the Illini led by 11 early but needed a late 12-2 run to gain control and help John Groce become only the second coach in Illinois history to win his first 12 games. Groce matched the school record for the best start by a first-year coach set by Fletcher Lane in 1907.
Joseph Bertrand chipped in with 11 points for Illinois.
Corey Walden scored 21 points and Glenn Cosey had 11 for the Colonels (9-1), who came in riding the school’s best start in 66 years.
Myke Henry cuts for two-handed flush:
Sam McLaurin throws it down:
FINAL: No. 10 Illinois went into the locker room with the momentum and carried it over into the second half en route to a 66-53 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Sunday at Assembly Hall. Illinois (12-0) led 22-20 with 2:21 left in the first half before it widened the margin to 14 points with a 14-2 run that ended with 15:15 in the game. Brandon Paul sparked the Fighting Illini, as he had 17 points, corralled eight rebounds, and dished out three assists in the victory.
HALFTIME: No. 10 Illinois held Eastern Kentucky’s offense to just eight first-half field goals, and the Fighting Illini lead 25-20 at halftime. Illinois is dominating the rebounding battle so far, with a 28-13 margin.The Fighting Illini never trailed in the first half and led by as many as 11 points. Joseph Bertrand led the way for Illinois in the first half, with seven points and six rebounds.
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