Augustine awesome as Illinois opens season with easy win
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) – James Augustine had 18 points and 14
rebounds as the 17th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini opened their season
by breezing past the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 90-65, at Assembly Hall.
Dee Brown had 19 points and Rich McBride scored 15 for the Fighting Illini
(1-0), who opened their season following a heartbreaking loss to North
Carolina in the national championship game last season.
Steve Holdren led all scorers on the night with 28 points and added six
rebounds. Ben Beran, with 11 points, was the only other double-digit scorer
for the Jackrabbits (1-2), who failed to win their second straight after
defeating Northern Colorado on Monday.
The Fighting Illini jumped out to a 4-0 lead on two free throws and a slam by
Augustine, but the Jackrabbits went on a 10-3 run, with Beran hitting a
jump shot and then draining a three-pointer, to give them a 10-7 lead.
After Augustine nailed a free throw to complete a three-point play, South
Dakota State scored the next five points to tie it up 15-15.
However, the Jackrabbits would trail the rest of the way.
The Fighting Illini went on a 11-2 run, capped off by a Shaun Pruitt layup to
make it 26-17 with 9:46 left in the first half.
Andre Gilbert made a layup with 6:28 left to cut the Illinois lead to 33-28.
However, on the strength of a 13-4 run to end the first half, Illinois took a
14-point lead into the last 20 minutes, with the score 46-32.
The Jackrabbits got to within 11 points after Matt Cadwell drained a jump shot
to make it 50-39 with 16:28 to play. But the Fighting Illini went on a 13-5
run, highlighted by a Brian Randle layup, giving the Illini a 63-44 lead with
11:31 to play in the game.
Illinois had its largest lead of the game after Chester Frazier made a layup
to make the score 82-55 with 3:51 to play
This was the first matchup between these two teams…South Dakota State turned
the ball over 21 times to Illinois’ 20…Beran fouled out…Illinois
outrebounded South Dakota State, 40-28…The Jackrabbits shot 38 percent from
the field, while the Fighting Illini shot 54 percent.