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Articles filed under Illinois Illini

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  • Illinois pounds Penn State 75-55 Jan 4, 2014 4:05 PM
    Rayvonte Rice scored 15 points to lead four Illinois players in double figures as the Illini defeated Penn State 75-55 on Saturday. Illinois (13-2, 2-0) remained in a first-place tie in the Big Ten following a pair of home wins. Penn State (9-6, 0-2) has dropped five of eight after a 6-1 start.

  • Illinois holds off Indiana in overtime, 83-80 Dec 31, 2013 10:17 PM
    Illinois (12-2) made the most of 23 Indiana turnovers and held Indiana to a single field goal in overtime on the way to an 83-80 win. “We’ve got some tough dudes. We take a lot of pride in that,” Illinois coach John Groce said. “But to their credit, they do, too.”

  • Illinois heads into Big Ten play with Indiana test Dec 30, 2013 6:09 PM
    The Illini (11-2) open Big Ten play Tuesday against Indiana (10-3), which lost to all three teams on its schedule that could have provided resume-building wins. Illinois, though, has a couple of nice wins — over then-No. 23 Missouri and at UNLV. And head coach Jon Groce, though heavily reliant on his five experienced starters, says his young players used the early schedule to develop.

  • Rice scores 28 and Illinois gets past UIC 74-60 Dec 28, 2013 5:10 PM
    Rayvonte Rice put on quite the show in his final tune-up before Big Ten play begins. Rice led a furious second-half comeback on Saturday, scoring 28 points while playing suffocating defense as the University of Illinois beat the University of Illinois-Chicago 74-60.

  • U of I graduate makes naming-rights donation Dec 27, 2013 4:45 PM
    The University of Illinois has announced the first donation to secure naming rights for a section of its basketball arena in Champaign. Alumnus John Giuliani, CEO of ValueClick Inc., has committed to paying $5 million for naming rights to a planned 10,000-square-foot premium seating space called the Traditions Club.

  • For women’s sports, 2013 loaded with great stories Dec 27, 2013 6:13 PM
    Patricia Babcock McGraw reviews the top women's sports stories of 2013, touching on international soccer, the LPGA, the WNBA, college volleyball, pro tennis and college basketbal.

  • Illinois edges No. 23 Missouri for Braggin’ Rights Dec 21, 2013 10:17 PM
    Tracy Abrams scored a season-best 22 points and made two free throws with 4.6 seconds to lift Illinois over No. 23 Missouri 65-64 Saturday in the annual Braggin’ Rights game. Rayvonte Rice added 14 points for Illinois (9-2), which snapped a four-game losing streak in the 33rd renewal of the annual neutral-court matchup.

  • Missouri 10-0, Illinois 9-2 for annual matchup Dec 20, 2013 5:35 PM
    Missouri is unbeaten, but far from cocky, entering the annual Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois. The 23rd-ranked Tigers realize their 10-0 start, and their four-game winning streak in the series, will mean little at tip-off of the 33rd renewal of the neutral-site matchup known for its boisterous sellout crowds — half rooting for each team.

  • Illini to extend Cubit’s contract through 2015 Dec 18, 2013 2:13 PM
    Credited with jump-starting a once anemic Illini offense, Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has agreed to a pay raise and a one-year contract extension through the 2015 season, head coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday.

  • Dial-a-Carol a holiday tradition at U of Illinois Dec 17, 2013 5:46 PM
    The phones are jingling off the hook at Dial-a-Carol, a student-run project on the University of Illinois’ Champaign campus. It’s a hotline of sorts for people who prefer hearing holiday music sung by a choir of amateurs who’ve been up all night studying.

  • Illinois falters in 71-64 loss to No. 15 Oregon Dec 15, 2013 12:44 AM
    Illinois gave Oregon its best shot and had an opportunity to knock the 15th-ranked Ducks from the ranks of the unbeaten Saturday night. The Fighting Illini led by nine points on a neutral court with 13 minutes to play before the Ducks rallied for a 71-64 victory before crowd of 10,043 at the Moda Center to improve to 9-0.

  • Balanced Illinois defeats Dartmouth 72-65 Dec 10, 2013 10:22 PM
    Illinois didn’t play quite as rough as it did in its last home game, a 57-55 escape against Indiana Purdue-Fort Worth on Nov. 29, but the Illini still have some ragged edges in their game. Tuesday, John Groce’s club had to hold off a late charge against Dartmouth for a 72-65 win in Illinois’ last nonconference home game of the season.

  • Illinois builds early lead, beats Auburn Dec 8, 2013 6:06 PM
    Rayvonte Rice scored 22 points Sunday and Illinois made a season-high 12 3-point shots in an 81-62 rout of Auburn in Philips Arena. The junior guard and his teammates seemed to feel more at home than when in Atlanta five days earlier. The Illini (8-1) led 60-47 late in their game Tuesday at nearby Georgia Tech only to lose 67-64 after the Yellow Jackets closed with a 19-4 blitz. Sunday in Philips Arena, where Auburn (4-3) was considered the “home” team one year after playing Illinois at Chicago’s United Center, Illinois led 41-17 at halftime, and by 32 in the second half. They shot 61.5 percent (32 of 52), and 52.2 percent from beyond the arc (12 of 23). “The thing I liked the most was our guys’ response after Tuesday night,” said Illinois coach John Groce. “I thought we got off to a great start at both ends. In the first half, the offense and the defense were both an A . . . the best 20 minutes we’ve played this year.” Rice, the Illini’s leading scorer at 18 points per game, didn’t score in the first 15:34. His layup with 4:26 remaining triggered a 15-2 Illinois run, however, to close the first half. Fellow junior Tracy Abrams added 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the visitors played like they owned the place. It appeared there were more Illinois fans in Philips than Auburn fans less than 24 hours after the Tigers beat Missouri in the SEC football Championship Game across the street in the Georgia Dome. “We just came out and threw the first punch; coach emphasized that,” Rice said after making 8 of 12 shots, including a pair of treys. “We were definitely mad about the loss at Georgia Tech.” Former Auburn star Charles Barkley was in attendance and the Tigers could have used the 1984 SEC Player of the Year. Senior guard Chris Denson entered the game as the SEC’s leading scorer at nearly 22 points per game, but with Rice and Joseph Bertrand chiefly tasked with defending him, Denson scored just eight points on 3-for-7 shooting. Illinois was averaging just over six made 3-pointers a game, yet topped that in the first half in making 7 of 13 while Auburn missed all four of its shots from distance. “With their defensive scheme (designed) to cut off penetration and cutting off drivers . . . our guys saw that and were willing to kick it out, make the extra pass and be unselfish,” Groce said. “Fortunately, we made some shots.” Auburn (4-3) was led by junior guard KT Harrell’s 23 points, and freshman point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen added 13 in a return to his hometown. The Tigers, however, shot just 40 percent and that number was bumped up as they warmed up late while closing the game with a 22-8 run mostly against younger Illini players. Auburn shot just 6 of 23 (26.1 percent) in the first half. Auburn starting power forward Jordon Granger did not score and center Benas Griciunas had just two points. “We let our anemic offense . . . how many possessions in a row did we go and not score?” said Tigers coach Tony Barbee. “We’re not getting any production out of our (power forwards) and (centers). Nothing.” Abrams was in the middle of just about everything that Illinois did on the way to a 41-17 halftime lead. He hit 3-of-5 3-pointers and scored 11 points while grabbing four rebounds with two assists and a pair of steals. Illinois scored the final 11 points of the first half. The Illini’s previous high for 3-pointers made was 10, against Bradley, in an 81-55 win on Nov. 17.

  • Georgia Tech hands Illini first loss of season Dec 3, 2013 9:05 PM
    Georgia Tech closed the game with a 19-4 run to rally from a 12-point deficit and beat Illinois 67-64 on Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, giving the Illini their first loss. Illinois (7-1) led 60-48 before Georgia Tech (6-3) began its comeback. Marcus Georges-Hunt’s drive with 1:48 remaining tied the game at 60-all. Daniel Miller’s layup with 21 seconds remaining gave Georgia Tech a 65-64 lead. Illinois forward Joseph Bertrand, who had 10 points, missed a jumper and Georgia Tech’s Robert Carter Jr. sank two free throws with three seconds remaining.

  • Would Illini football fans endorse cheating to win? Dec 3, 2013 8:18 PM
    Illinois' football program, historically and currently, is so failed that it would be interesting to find out whether Illini fans would mind if head coach Tim Beckman would cheat to win.

  • Illinois’ Rice Big Ten player of the week Dec 2, 2013 12:59 PM
    Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice is the Big Ten’s player of the week after averaging 21 points a game in a pair of wins. Rice also averaged eight rebounds and three steals a game in those victories over UNLV last Tuesday and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne on Friday.

  • Beckman will be back as Illinois coach in 2014 Dec 2, 2013 4:18 PM
    Illinois has confirmed that football coach Tim Beckman will be back for a third season in 2014. The Illini finished 4-8 (1-7 Big Ten) in Beckman’s second season at Illinois and lost their finale 37-34 on Saturday to Northwestern.

  • Northwestern closes with 37-34 win over Illinois Nov 30, 2013 7:20 PM
    Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns and Christian Jones caught 13 balls for 182 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past Illinois 37-34 Saturday in the finale for both teams.

  • IHSA, NIU excited about state final weekend Nov 29, 2013 5:40 PM
    Marty Hickman has heard the speculation as long as he has been executive director of the Illinois High School Association: move the football state finals closer to the state’s largest population center and watch attendance rise. That long-held theory gets put to the test Friday and Saturday when Northern Illinois University hosts eight IHSA state championship games at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb for the first time.

  • Illini hold off pesky IPFW Nov 29, 2013 11:48 PM
    Rayvonte Rice scored 17 points and Tracy Abrams added 15, including 12 in the second half, as Illinois held off feisty Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne for a 57-55 win on Friday. Joseph Bertrand added 11 points for the Illinois (7-0). The first half was a nightmare for the Illini, who turned the ball over 11 times and trailed 35-27 at the break.

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