Illini Improve to 2-0 With Win Over Jacksonville State
By Rob McColley
Five players scored in double figures as Illinois topped Alabama's Jacksonville State 86 to 62 Sunday night in Champaign, improving to 2-0.
The Illini were led by Joseph Bertrand with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Coach John Groce said he could play as long as he wanted.
"There are only so many days left that he has in that Illini jersey, and it means something to him," he said. "I thought he was teriffic. I basically told him, I'm taking you out until you tell me you're tired. Because he's the one guy I thought was really locked in."
Rayvonte Rice and Tracy Abrams added 13 points apiece, and Nana Egwu scored 10 to go with seven rebounds and five blocked shots.
But despite these impressive statistics, it was freshman Jaylon Tate who stole the show. He finished with 10 points, while assisting on eight field goals.
Tied with Tracy Abrams for most minutes on the floor, Tate committed only a single turnover.
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks did out-rebound the Illini 44 to 37.
Up next, the Illini host Valparaiso Wednesday night.