Big Ten Foreign Tour Loses Opener, 143-117

The Big Ten Men's Basketball Foreign Tour team, which includes Minnesota sophomore center Spencer Tollackson, opened their 2005 tour with a 143-117 loss to the Huesca Basketball Club in Spain on Saturday.

Purdue's Matt Kiefer led the squad in scoring and rebounding with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Illinois' Brian Randle had 15 points and six rebounds. Michigan's Ron Coleman (13 points), Illinois' Calvin Brock (12) and Indiana's Marco Killingsworth (12) also reached double figures in scoring. All 12 players tallied at least three points in the contest.

The Big Ten squad trailed 33-32 after the first period, but were outscored 43-23 in the second quarter as they trailed 76-55 at halftime.

The Big Ten team cut the Huesca lead to 14 near the end of the third quarter, but the Spanish club team made 41 free throws on the night to earn the 143-117 victory. Huesca, who claimed the Spanish third division championship last season, also showed its long range capabilities by hitting 21 three-pointers on the evening. The Big Ten contingent resumes competition against the VIC Barcelona Basketball Club on Monday, August 15.

The future of the Big Ten is on display overseas as seven of the 12 players have completed two or fewer seasons of college basketball. The league's last Foreign Tour team in 2004 produced a record of 3-2 to boast a winning record for the third straight trip (6-0 in 2001, 4-1 in 2002) for the first time since the team's inception in 1991. The Big Ten had produced back-to-back trips above .500 on two occasions, from 1991-92 and 1995-96. The conference office has sent teams overseas in 12 of the last 14 years, compiling an overall record of 49-32.

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