Redhawks Fall to No. 6 Illinois, 89-64
Dec. 28, 2005
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A strong and talented Illinois team wore down Southeast Missouri in the second half to claim an 89-64 win. The Fighting Illini, 13-0 and ranked sixth nationally, led only 38-29 at the half but outrebounded the Redhawks 27-9 in the second half to pull away for the win.
After Southeast's Roy Booker hit a pair of free throws with two seconds left, Brown took the inbounds pass and streaked to midcourt and let fly from about 40 feet away. The ball slid through the hoop to extend Illinois' lead to 38-29 after Southeast Missouri had fought back from an early 15-point deficit.
Dee Brown made two diving saves that led directly to baskets for the Illini (13-0). Early in the game, he dove into the defensive corner and scooped the ball back to Warren Carter who got it back to Brown. Brown then sent a pass to Jamar Smith, who hit a 3-pointer.
"(Roy) Booker really made some shots for Southeast in the first half and he kept them in the game," Brown said. "In the second half we got the ball inside and really hurt them on the boards."
Southeast Missouri (4-7) made a game of things in the first half, trimming Illinois' 15-point lead to three when Ketshner Guerrier hit a jumper to cap off a 19-7 run and bring the Redhawks to within 27-24 with 3:52 to go.
But Jamar Smith's 3-pointer stopped the outburst and the Illini stretched their lead to 38-29 when Brown scored the final five points of the half, the last three on the buzzer-beater.
Smith and Carter came off the bench to score 14 points each, and James Augustine added 12 for Illinois. Smith was 4-for-4 from 3-point range and Carter grabbed seven rebounds to help the Illini to a 48-24 edge on the boards.
Southeast Missouri missed 11 of its first 13 shots and trailed 20-5 with 11:42 to go in the first half before the Illini started missing. The Redhawks rolled off 11 straight points, seven from Booker, to start the 19-7 run.
Southeast returns to action on Monday night, hosting Eastern Kentucky in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPNU with local access on UPN-The Beat. Game time at the Show Me Center will be 6 p.m.