CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Rich McBride was dialed in from
McBride had a career-high seven 3-pointers en route to 21 points
as sixth-ranked Illinois used a blazing start to continue its
feast on non-conference opponents, posting an 84-46 victory over
Remaining among the dwindling ranks of the unbeaten, the
Fighting Illini (14-0) shot 53 percent (33-of-62) from the field
to propel themselves to their 46th consecutive win at home
against a non-conference foe.
Illinois also claimed its 29th consecutive win overall at
Assembly Hall, pulling into a tie with Gonzaga for the nation's
second-longest active home winning streak. Washington leads the
list with 32.
Connecting on each of his first three shots from the arc,
McBride sparked a 17-0 run to start the game. The Skyhawks
(5-5) did not record their first point until McClendon Tolliver
made 1-of-2 free throws 5:15 into the contest, and got their
first basket when a 3-pointer by Justin Flatt made it 27-4 with
just over nine minutes to play.
Behind six 3-pointers by McBride in the first half, the Illini
held a 47-15 lead at the break. James Augustine added 14 of his
19 points in the opening 20 minutes for Illinois, which appears
to be clicking on all cylinders leading into a matchup with No.
9 Michigan State in its Big Ten opener next Thursday.
Augustine also had 11 boards in the contest, becoming the
all-time leader in school history with 854.
Freshman Jamar Smith scored 11 points and Dee Brown chipped in
10 assists for the Illini, who shot 11-of-25 (44 percent) on
3-pointers and had 25 assists on 33 baskets.
Jared Newson scored 13 points and Jason Thompson added 11 for
Tennessee-Martin, which has lost its two meetings with ranked
opponents this season by an average of 27.5 points.