Maryland Never Trails In Big Ten Opening Rout Of Illinois
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Melo Trimble scored 20 points and Jaylen Brantley added 13 as Maryland routed Illinois 84-59 on Tuesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
It was the sixth victory in a row for the Terrapins (13-1), who have won their conference opener in all three seasons since joining the Big Ten.
Malcolm Hill had 21 points for the Illini (10-4), who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end.
Maryland played without two of its top post players. Junior Michal Cekovsky rested a left ankle injury, and senior Damonte Dodd missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained left knee ligament.
Their absences mattered little against the Illini, who never led and were outscored 48-24 in the paint. It also provided an opportunity for Maryland graduate transfer L.G. Gill, who matched a season-high with seven rebounds.
After both teams struggled with turnovers in the early moments, Maryland uncorked a 10-0 run to seize a 15-4 lead. The Terps' lead would never shrink below nine points as the Illini failed to get traction on offense. Maryland held a 39-23 edge at the break.
The Terps were 55.9 percent from the field while Illinois, which dropped its Big Ten opener for the fourth time in five years, shot just 35.6.
Illinois: It was the fifth consecutive road loss for the Illini dating to last season, and that skid could grow in the coming weeks as the Illini visits No. 16 Indiana, 15th-ranked Purdue and Michigan.
Maryland: The Terps will need Cekovsky and Dodd back to fortify their interior rotation as they delve deeper into Big Ten play.
Illinois plays host to Ohio State on Sunday in the Illini's first Big Ten home game and the Buckeyes' conference opener.
Maryland remains at home to face Nebraska on Sunday as the Terps play the last of eight consecutive games inside the state.