The Fighting Illini defeated the Central Michigan Chippewas 92-73 Saturday afternoon at the State Farm Center in Champaign, IL. Tracy Abrams and Leron Black both had career high point totals in the contest, as the Illini earned their 8th victory of the season.
Both Illinois and Central Michigan opened 12 of 17 from the field. The Illini would then open up a 19 point lead that saw the Chippewas go scoreless from the field over a 7 minute span. After the Illinois run, Central Michigan would go on a 13-0 run of their own. The lead would eventually be cut to 5 as the Chips looked to regain momentum late in the opening half, but a 5 point run from Tracy Abrams would give Illinois a 46-36 halftime lead.
Abrams was the story in the first half, shooting a perfect 5 for 5 from 3-point territory. His shooting percentage from outside the arc has been one of the strong points of the Illinois offense this season, as his 3 point shooting percentage jumped to 58.1% on the year. He also broke the 1,000 career point mark, moving him into the top 50 of all time leading scorers in Illinois history.
First half shot chart for Tracy Abrams (7-8): pic.twitter.com/sceS1Ohg13— Illini Stats & Notes (@IlliniStats) December 10, 2016
Illinois would continue to put their foot on the gas in the second half, opening with a 14-4 run they would never relinquish. Leron Black continued his solid play with a career high 21 point performance. He has averaged over 16 points per game in his last 5 appearances, and has been a key player in the Illini front court. Illinois looked great on the glass in the contest, winning the rebound battle 49-25 which included 13 offensive rebounds. Malcolm Hill also finished the game with 10 points, his 9th game this season finishing a game with a point total in double digits.
The Illini will head to the United Center in Chicago to face the BYU Cougars next Saturday 12/17 at 8:30pm CST on BTN. Fans looking for tickets should use the promo code ‘TCR15’ to receive 15% off at this link.