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Illini basketball preview: Austin Peay

Illini basketball preview: Austin Peay

For the second consecutive game, Underwood's Fighting Illini basketball team played a sluggish first half, but unlike their previous outing, this time IL came away with a 64-57 win over the Austin Peay Governors on Wednesday evening at the State Farm Center in Champaign.

Junior forward Michael Finke led the Illini with team-highs in points and rebounds. Finke scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Redhshirt junior Michael Finke and Leron Black helped IL overcome a slow start, and were the only Illini to score in double figures.

Austin Peay plays a similar style to the one employed by Illini coach Brad Underwood, and he said that contributed to the turnovers and sloppy play. So when IL (6-3) hosts Austin Peay (4-4) Wednesday at State Farm Center, Jordan is the nation's leader in 3-point shooting at 65.7 percent.

The turning point came with just under five minutes remaining. Six of those points came at the free throw line and the other three came on a 3-point basket by Da'Monte Wiliams, whose basket with 4:52 to go rattled around before falling through.

With 19.6 seconds left, the Governors still had a chance.

Underwood changed his starting lineup for the first time all year against the Governors. IL committed 25 turnovers in the game, a number that Underwood does not care for very much.

IL struggled shooting from the three-point line, only making 2 of 13 shots from beyond the arc.

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

"That was like an old slug fist in the sandbox", Underwood said. Austin Peay did not get into the bonus until the final seconds of the game. "Every play call he made I knew and every play call I made he knew". Offensively and defensively Austin Peay does not grade out well, ranking 284 and 264 by KenPom.com's adjusted metrics, respectively. The Illini had 15 turnovers and just 10 made field goals, while the Governors managed to score just 11 field goals and committed 12 turnovers.

IL took an early 13-8 lead over Austin Peay within the first five minutes of the game before going on a six-minute scoring drought, and it scored just four points over an 11-minute stretch. Austin Peay had six different players record a steal and made things very hard for the Illini on the perimeter.

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

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.

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

IL (7-3, 0-2) trailed at the half 28-26, as the Governors took advantage of some sloppy play by the Illini.


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