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WATCH: John Groce reacts to Illinois Basketball’s 64-46 victory over VCU

Hear from the Illinois head coach following his team’s win.

Leron Black Postgame Interview

Game Recap

The Illinois Fighting Illini entered Saturday’s game against VCU looking to build upon a huge victory over N.C State their last time out, and they managed to do just that. The Orange and Blue overcame a sluggish 1-12 shooting start to top the Rams by a final score of 64-46 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL. Leron Black earned MVP honors after totaling a career-high 18 points and 8 rebounds on 6-13 shooting from the field.

Illinois (6-3) found themselves trailing 11-3 at the under-12 mark of the first half due largely in part to the previously mentioned ice-cold start from the field. Evidently, though, the Illini shooters just needed a little more time to acclimate themselves as they proceeded to go on a 19-3 run to take a 22-14 lead; VCU (6-2) was held without a field goal for 7:15 minutes during that stretch. Illinois took a 31-21 lead into halftime.

While the Rams came out firing with an 11-0 run of their own, Illinois was able to pull away over the final 10:00 minutes thanks to another surprising defensive effort. VCU became the victim of another prolonged shooting drought during the final 7:37 minutes of play, which aided the Illini as they outscored their competition 14-3 down the stretch.