Illinois Wins by 19 in Big Ten Opener

The Fighting Illini opened up Big Ten conference play against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Champaign on Wednesday night with a 84-65 win to extend their record to 15-0. Illinois was led by James Augustine's double double of 21 and 10, while Deron Williams added 14 with 8 assists. Ohio State was lead by Tony Stockman's 19 points on 7-14 shooting.

After dismissing Cincinnati on New Year's Eve, the Fighting Illini had a five day rest before taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes in Champaign to open up Big Ten Conference play. The Buckeyes were coming into Champaign on a six game winning streak, and they provided a challenge for Illinois with their big guy Terrence Dials. The one test that Illinois will have to prove in every game is that they can defend opposing big men. They have passed the tests when they played Wake Forest and Gonzaga, and now on Wednesday night they passed the Terrence Dials test.

James Augustine had the best game of the season so far on both sides of the ball. He was a key offensive player as he led Illinois with 21 points by scoring with his fifteen foot jump shot, a quick lefty hook, and then his up and under move. On defense, James was assigned with guarding Ohio State's Terrence Dials, a player that almost single handedly beat Illinois in Columbus in the game Illinois clinched the Big Ten last season. But Wednesday night it was a different story as Illinois' big men, led by James held Dials to just 7 points on 2-5 shooting and 6 rebounds.

The first half was a back and forth struggle for Illinois as Ohio State stayed in the game and was leading for quite a bit of the first half (something that this Illini team is not used to). The Illini used a run late in the half to pull out to a 46-40 half time lead, and they would never look back in the second half. The second half was all Illinois as the Illini shut down the Ohio State offense and held them to only 25 points.

ILLINI OFFENSE / DEFENSE BY THE NUMBERS

Offensive Efficiency: 127.43
Defensive Efficiency: 98.60
Points per Shot (Illinois): 1.29
Points per Shot (Ohio State): 1.33


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