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Illini grind out a win vs. Austin Peay

Illini grind out a win vs. Austin Peay”

"I try to do my job every day with the same consistency and passion and I expect that from our team". "It was us losing our poise and patience and not handling it, starting on the first possession of the game when (Lucas) dribbled it off his foot with a little ball pressure".

Aaron Jordan, who has started this season off on a torrid pace, was held scoreless for the first time this season, something that Underwood isn't necessarily concerned about. Finke scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Black scored 16 points (5-9 FG) and brought down four rebounds.

IL made 6 of 9 shot attempts to start the game and jumped out to an early 13-6 lead but went scoreless for nearly six minutes.

"A tough night offensively, with nine assists", Underwood said.

"I'm not sure if we came out flat or not, but we didn't have the energy once again, and we'll have to get that fixed", Finke said following the game on his team's effort on the court.

The turning point came with just under five minutes remaining. On the other end, Da'Monte Williams spotted up on the right wing, and nailed a 3-pointer to push the Illini ahead for good.

Te'Jon Lucas was fouled driving into the lane and hit a pair of free throws to increase the Illini lead to 61-56 with 19.6 seconds and Lucas added a free throw and a driving basket to complete the victory.

"It's really, really good to fight through a game like tonight", Underwood said.

Williams got his first career start Wednesday, replacing freshman Mark Smith in the lineup.

Both teams shot 2-13 from three-point range.

The Governors were led by freshman Terry Taylor and senior Averyl Ugba.

IL now has won 12 consecutive non-conference home games and four straight against Austin Peay.

Figger and Underwood worked together at Kansas State and SC. The two spent six years as assistant coaches under Frank Martin.

"That was like an old slugfest in the sand box", Underwood said.

"That was their coach not letting him (Jordan) getting any shots, and he told me he was going to do it and he did it". But Austin Peay had numerous same problems IL did. In the first half, both squads actually had more turnovers than made field goals. Despite being led by inexperienced players, the Governors take care of the ball relatively well, with just 3 more turnovers than IL on the season (131 vs. 128), and foul much less often than the Illini (159 vs. 209).

In the final game of Altenberger's terrific career, Austin Peay upset the Illini by a single point in an opening-round NCAA Tournament game in March 1987.

Austin Peay led by four points with 5:53 minutes left in the second half before IL responded with an 18-7 run to close the game.

It doesn't take much to get Doug Altenberger talking about Austin Peay.

Austin Peay turned it over 24 times and - matching the Illini shot for shot - was two for 13 from 3.

Overall, this should be a way for IL to get back on the winning track and maybe implement some new wrinkles into their play.



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