CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Dee Brown couldn't miss in the first half. He didn't have to shoot in the second.
Brown scored all 20 of his points before halftime in leading Illinois (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) to a 91-60 win over Florida A&M Sunday. He was 8-for-8 from the field and had four 3-pointers.
But after the Illini built a 58-29 halftime lead, Brown took only two shots. His teammates took over in the second half, with all five starters finishing in double figures to help Illinois win its second game in three days to open the season.
"I just take the shots they give me," Brown said. "We're too good for me to force shots. I've got faith in my teammates."
Roger Powell Jr. scored 15 points and James Augustine had 10 for the Illini, who found easy shots inside the Rattlers' zone defense. Luther Head scored 13 points and Deron Williams added 11.
Brown has been Illinois' spark in the first two games. He led the team with 17 points in the opener against Delaware State on Friday and has hit 13 of his first 16 shots.
"He's come out and just played with such energy and shot the ball so well," said coach Bruce Weber. "That little stretch, for a little guy, he dominated the game pretty convincingly."
Florida A&M ended its two-game trip to the Big Ten 0-2, losing to Michigan State and Illinois by a combined 63 points.
"I wish we could have come in here and been more competitive," said Florida A&M coach Mike Gillespie. "The five guys that started the game have had one day of practice together" because of injuries.
After missing their first shot of the game, the Illini ran off 19 straight points, including 3-pointers from Brown, Head and Williams to take a 22-4 lead before the game was five minutes old.
The sharp shooting from behind the 3-point arc forced Florida A&M to play man-to-man defense and Illinois was able to establish itself inside with layups from Head and Powell and a dunk from Augustine during the early run.
"We played with a lot of energy," said Weber. "They ran a lot of ball screens. ... So that led to a lot of deflections and allowed us to be aggressive and scramble."
The Illini came out flat after halftime and Florida A&M used a 15-4 run to trim its deficit to 62-46 with 12 minutes to go.
"We had 15 possessions and one basket, nine turnovers in that stretch," Weber said. "It wasn't very good basketball."
Consecutive layups from Augustine, Head and Williams put Illinois back in control and ignited a 31-7 run to seal the game.
"There was a 10-minute stretch in the second half where we passed the ball fairly well," Gillespie said. "I think once the season progresses and we have a chance to continue to work together ... I think this team will be better."
Glen Elliott led the Rattlers with 15 points.
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Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.
|South Carolina State||12-4||1||19-15|
|North Carolina Central||7-9||6||13-19|
|North Carolina A&T||7-9||6||10-22|