Brandon Paul scored 35 points to lead No. 13 Illinois over No. 10 Gonzaga 85-74 on Saturday in a matchup of unbeaten teams. Tracy Abrams added 14 points for Illinois (10-0) and new coach John Groce is off to the best debut for an Illinois coach in the team’s modern history.
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With the volume of competitive games slowing considerably this week, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we’ve seen in the first four weeks of the 2012-13 basketball season.
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It’s been a bit of a quiet week for Big Ten basketball, with most teams facing tune-up games against over-matched opponents. Let’s take a quick look at the games that weren’t complete blowouts.
Brandon Paul scored 14 points and No. 13 Illinois earned a 72-64 win over Western Carolina on Tuesday. Western Carolina tied the game at 54-54 with 6:15 left. Illinois guard D.J. Richardson hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for a 62-56 lead. Richardson finished with 13 points.
Despite getting double-digit scoring performances from Rachel Banham, Sari Noga and Kayla Hirt, Minnesota dropped its Big Ten-ACC Challenge game to Virginia, 68-90. Jump inside for highlights of Illinois’ win over Wake Forest and get full scores and stats on our women’s basketball scoreboard.
Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE
In a bit of a surprise, the ACC took four of six games last night to clinch a tie in this year’s Challenge. Let’s look at how they did it.
Illinois’s Joseph Bertrand showed off some acrobatics on Wednesday night against Georgia Tech, including the twisting shot in this video. Up 62-58 in the second half, Bertrand takes the ball almost the length of the court, leaps a good distance from the rim, twists in the air, and banks the shot in off the glass. And he drew the foul. Bertrand finished with 15 points, one of four Illini players in double digits.