Finke, Black edge IL past Austin Peay 64-57

Lester Mason
December 7, 2017

It was a tough loss for a team still searching for its first Big Ten win.

IL forward Leron Black (12) puts up a hook shot during the game against Austin Peay at State Farm Center on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. I try to do that every day with consistency and passion.

IL forward Aaron Jordan did it the old-fashioned way. Finke scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

The Illini (7-3) shot just 39.6 percent from the field and made just 21 field goals, but it was enough to snap a three-game losing streak.

IL made 6 of 9 shot attempts to start the game and jumped out to an early 13-6 lead but went scoreless for nearly six minutes.

Austin Peay plays a similar style to the one employed by Illini coach Brad Underwood, and he said that contributed to the turnovers and sloppy play. "We're 6-3 and along with that we've got to grow".

He finished with just four points (1-6 FG, 2-2 FT) in 15 minutes. Locked at 50, Kipper Nichols stole an entry pass to the post and pushed the ball ahead. Six of those points came at the free throw line and the other three came on a 3-point basket by Da'Monte Wiliams, whose basket with 4:52 to go rattled around before falling through.

Te'Jon Lucas was fouled driving into the lane and hit a pair of free throws to increase the Illini lead to 61-56 with 19.6 seconds and Lucas added a free throw and a driving basket to complete the victory. IL committed 25 turnovers in the game, a number that Underwood does not care for very much.

It was the first lineup change IL has made to the starting five this season. Terry Taylor added 13 for the Governors, who shot 41.4 percent (24-of-58) from the field for the game.

Austin Peay (4-5) played an aggressive, physical and fearless game while jumping into passing lanes and earning extra possessions.

Underwood and Figger coached together at two stops, Kansas State and SC, so their styles are similar. The two spent six years as assistant coaches under Frank Martin.

"That was like an old slug fist in the sandbox", Underwood said.

"That was their coach not letting him (Jordan) getting any shots, and he told me he was going to do it and he did it".

IL and Austin Peay combined for 49 turnovers.

The Illini recorded 15 first-half turnovers, and the Governors weren't far behind with 12 of their own as the visitors took a two-point lead into halftime.

IL took an early 13-8 lead over Austin Peay within the first five minutes of the game before going on a six-minute scoring drought, and it scored just four points over an 11-minute stretch.

Austin Peay: The Governors struggled on offense, but applied a lot of pressure on defense.

IL still led by just three points at 59-56 when Austin Peay was called for a shot clock violation with 45.8 seconds to go.

Austin Peay: The Governors are off until next Saturday, Dec. 16. Austin Peay will take on Evansville to cap a two-game road trip.

IL (7-3, 0-2) trailed at the half 28-26, as the Governors took advantage of some sloppy play by the Illini.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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