CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — For a team that was 11th in the Big Ten last season in scoring, Illinois’ offense has been nearly unstoppable to start the season.
Malcolm Hill led Illinois with a career-high 16 points and added six rebounds in a 107-66 victory over Austin Peay on Friday.READ MORE: 5 Wounded In South Austin Mass Shooting
This was the second straight game where Illinois went over 100 points, after the Illini posted 114 points in a victory over Coppin State last Sunday. The last time Illinois hit the century mark in back-to-back games was in December 1993. It also tied a school record for 3-pointers made in back-to-back games, with 29.
Illinois shot 56 percent from deep and 59.7 percent overall. Illinois is shooting 50 percent as a team from 3-point range this season.
“I don’t think we offered much resistance outside of the first six or eight minutes of the game,” Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a team shoot the ball as well they did tonight.”
In the first game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, the Illini cruised for much of the night.
A 13-2 run midway through the first half pushed the Illini’s (3-0) lead to double-digits and Austin Peay (1-3) never threatened in the second half as the lead swelled to as many as 44. Five players reached double figures for Illinois.
Illinois started slowly and scored just six points in the game’s first five minutes. Illinois coach John Groce brought in four substitutions less than four minutes into the game.READ MORE: 15-Year-Old Among 2 Shot In West Englewood
The Illini relied on a barrage of threes offensively, hitting seven in the first half and 14 for the game.
“The thing that stands out most to me was our unselfishness. I thought we passed up shots to go from good to great,” Groce said. “There were some possessions that were pretty fun to watch.”
Rayvonte Rice scored 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting, while Kendrick Nunn was 4-for-4 on 3-pointers, finishing with 14 points for Illinois.
Chris Freeman led Austin Peay with 13 points.
Illinois was able to limit Austin Peay’s strong frontcourt. Freeman and Chris Horton each averaged over 16 points per game entering the contest but were stifled for much of the game. Horton added six points on 1-of-7 shooting.
It marks the first time this season that Horton didn’t reach double figures scoring.
For the second consecutive game, Hill set a career-high in points after scoring 13 points against Coppin State last Sunday.MORE NEWS: Man's Body Pulled From Lake Michigan In Evanston, Hours After Crews Rescuing 3 Other People Find His Belongings On Beach
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.