Associated Press, November 24, 2017

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Michael Finke scored 22 points and teammate Aaron Jordan added 16 to lead Illinois over North Carolina Central 86-73 Friday at State Farm Center.


Reggie Gardner Jr. scored 18 points for N.C. Central, and Zacarry Douglas and Jordan Perkins added 11 points each.

Illinois (6-0) looked lackluster early, allowing the Eagles (2-5) to mount an 8-0 run midway through the first half to take a 35-34 lead at the half. N.C. Central had its own issues early, including turning the ball over on its first two possessions of the game.

After the break, Finke and Jordan traded three-pointers, with Finke tossing in a couple of dunks for good measure, as the Illini put together their own 8-0 run and easily coasted to the victory.

BIG PICTURE: Finke and Jordan were deadly from beyond the 3-point line in the second half. Finke went 5 of 11 from 3, but sank three in the early minutes of the second half that seemed to fire up the Illini's offense. Jordan went 4 of 5 from downtown, with three of them coming during the opening seven minutes of the final half.

UP NEXT: Illinois hits the road and will meet Wake Forest on Tuesday while NCCU plays Southeast Missouri State on Sunday at home.