Defense carries Illini to victory over Hoyas
Early in the season, Illinois coach Bruce Weber said that their defense would have to carry them this year. It certainly was the case against the Georgetown Hoyas tonight at the Assembly Hall in Champaign. The Illini held the Hoyas to 13 first half points and 38 percent shooting for the game en route to a 58-48 win
As Illini Wonk has pointed out repeatedly
, the seniors will need to carry the Illini on the offensive end. Against Georgetown they put in a lot of minutes and were big factors in the win. Dee Brown led Illinois with 16 points and three assists. James Augustine had his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Barker Davis of the Washington Times
made the trip to Champaign and said Brown and Augustine were two players for which (the Hoyas) had no answers
. You can watch Brown talk to ESPN's Erin Andrews here
about the defense.
But the good work on the defensive end masked a poor offensive night from Illinois. They shot only 32 percent from the field and 39 percent from three point territory. Early in the game, the Illini made Georgetown center Roy Hibbert look like the best shot-blocker of all time. The Illini frequently went deep into the shot clock, forcing Brown to create a play or take a difficult shot.
There were other positives in the game. The Illini dominated the Hoyas on the boards, outrebounding them 44-31 overall and 22-9 on the offensive glass. Illinois scored 16 points off of offensive rebounds
. They also shot a season best 78.6 percent from the free throw line.
As usual, Illinois Loyalty has photos
. For all of the game articles go to del.icio.us
Following the game, Mark Tupper blogged
about how winning has become the norm for Illinois basketball. He sees a lot of potential for this team once they improve their offense. Said Tupper:
What’s going to be fun to watch is to see how many strides Illinois can make offensively during the next few weeks when Weber locks them in the gym during the semester break and cracks the whip teaching the fine points of motion. This is already a very good defensive team. And, clearly, they know how to win. Add to the mix a more precision and efficient offense and Illinois will cause people troubles.