Illini Men Cruise 91-74 Over Marshall
Kipper Nichols and Leron Black each scored 17 points and grabbed 11 and 9 rebounds, respectively, to lead the Illini men past Marshall by a score of 91-74 Sunday evening at the State Farm Center.
Coach Brad Underwood was pleased with the offensive production overall, but especially happy with two statistics.
“19 assists, 6 turnovers. That’s big boy basketball in a game that was full court, a lot of possessions," Underwood said. "Had we made layups, that assist total would have been much higher, but that’s a good number, and that’ll make me happy most nights.”
Nichols and Black were also pleased by a non-scoring data point: Black's single personal foul. They both laughed when Black — notorious for his aggressive style of play and regular foul trouble — was asked how he managed to avoid the dreaded referee's whistle.
"I don't even know," Black said. "It's good though, something I need to keep on doing."
Mark Smith and Michael Finke both added 13 points, and Trent Frazier chipped in with 10 for the Illini.
Jarrod West tallied a game-high 23 points for the Thundering Herd, including 5-6 from three-point range. Ajidin Penava added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Illinois's defense held the Herd's star guard Jon Elmore to 2-11 shooting.
The Illini improve to 4-0 on the season. Marshall drops to 2-2. Illinois will host NCAA Division II opponent Augustana (Ill.) on Wednesday.