Illini dethrone Monarchs

Local Sports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Coming off their biggest win of the season, the Illini didn’t let up with a 69-55 win of Old Dominion on Saturday.

It’s been a quiet couple games for sophomore Alan Griffin who had just eights points in the last three games, but leading the Illini with 15 points against the Monarchs set the tone for a balanced game, as one of the several contributors coming off the bench.

“That’s what he does, he’s a shot maker, he’s a shooter, and he got open looks and he knocked it down,” Ayo Dosunmu said.

“I’ve been really pleased with Alan, he’s a guy, he’s a valuable, valuable piece to this team, and tonight he was very good,” Brad Underwood said.

Griffin was just one of three players in double-digits, the Illini’s success and identity this season has been highly dictated by their defense. Senior Kipper Nichols provided that spark against the Monarchs, as the Illini held them to under 37% from the field.

“That’s really our goal. To galvanize around each other, and just focus on the defensive end and bring the effort, and we understand that the rest will follow,” Nichols said.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence on the offensive end, which he hadn’t seen. We sure didn’t see last year,” Underwood said. “He’s been very good, and we’ve got to have him continue to grow.”

Tevian Jones made his Illini debut, playing the final four minutes of the game. He did score.

Illinois moves to 8-3 on the season, they’re off for a full week for finals. They play Missouri on the 21st in St. Louis in the annual Braggin’ Rights matchup.

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