The Illinois Fighting Illini basketball team played in Atlanta for the second time in the past week, but this time the outcome was much more favorable as the young Illini knocked off the Auburn Tigers 81-62 on the home court of the Atlanta Hawks to improve to 8-1 on the season.
The Illini were led by a trio of double digit scorers in this contest. Rayvonte Rice paced the Illini once again with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Tracy Abrams finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Jon Ekey added 14 points, the majority of which came on 4-6 shooting from 3 point range, as well as 6 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The bench was much improved from a scoring standpoint as they contributed 19 points in this contest. John Groce employed a 10 man rotation for much of this game, and the freshman all received some quality minutes because Illinois blew Auburn’s doors off and maintained their sizable lead throughout the rest of the second half.
Illinois’ offense wasn’t the only game in town, however, as their defense definitely came to play as well. Auburn’s 62 points were their lowest output of the season.
Illinois shot 12-23 from 3 point range, and added 19 assists as a team. They also finished 61.5% shooting from the floor, and out-rebounded Auburn by 1 rebound 27-26.
Auburn was led by KT Harrell’s 23 points in the losing effort. Illinois limited the SEC’s leading scorer, Chris Denson, to 8 points on 3-7 shooting.
Illinois returns to action Tuesday at The State Farm Center when they face Dartmouth at 7 pm.