Illinois basketball got back on the horse and improved to 5-0 on the young season tonight following their 77-53 victory over Chicago State at the State Farm Center.
The second half was tight throughout until the Illini went on a 22-2 run to close out the game behind a scoring explosion from transfer Jon Ekey who hit 5-8 three point attempts on the game en route to 19 points. Ekey also threw down a thunderous windmill putback dunk on a Jaylon Tate miss. If you want to see it, make sure you click the link I posted in the previous sentence.
All in all, it was another outstanding performance for the former Illinois State Redbird.
Final stats for this contest are as follows:
- Illinois shot 48.1% from the floor behind 26-54 shooting, and 42.9% from 3 point land on 9-21 shooting.
- Chicago State shot 40% from the floor behind 18-45 shooting, and 35% from 3 point land on 7-20 shooting.
- Illinois was +19 in rebounding, 39 to 20.
- Illinois finished with 11 assists to Chicago State’s 8 assists.
The most important number of the 2nd half was 2. Illinois only turned the ball over twice in the 2nd half after turning it over 8 times in the first half. By nearly eliminating turnovers, the Illini were able to pull away late in the 2nd half once the majority of their shots began falling.
Jon Ekey (19 points, 6 rebounds) led a balanced Illini scoring attack as 4 of the Illini starters finished in double figures. Rayvonte Rice, Tracy Abrams, and Joe Bertrand each scored 12 points. Nnanna Egwu led Illinois with 9 rebounds.
Clarke Rosenberg finished with 16 points for the visiting Cougars.
Illinois will return to the hardwood November 26th when they travel to Las Vegas to face UNLV in a 9:45 pm start time at the Thomas & Mack Center.