Saturday, March 20, 2004

Murray St. gets taste of Illini's Big Ten


Atlanta Regional

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Illinois was bigger, badder and better, muscling past an inferior opponent and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Just like a Big Ten team should.

Dee Brown scored 21 points as the fifth-seeded Fighting Illini advanced in the NCAA Tournament Friday with a 72-53 victory over 12th-seeded Murray State.

They won on the same floor where they claimed their first outright conference title in 52 years this month.

Roger Powell added 11 points and James Augustine 10 for Illinois (25-6), which took control of the matchup with a late run in the first half, pulled away and cruised into the second round for the second straight year.

The Illini will play Cincinnati on Sunday.

The Racers (28-6) were led by Cuthbert Victor's 15 points and Chris Shumate's 13. But the Ohio Valley Conference champions couldn't handle Illinois' size or strength inside and dropped to 0-12 against Big Ten schools.

"We just have a little better athlete, a little better size than what they're used to facing," said Illinois coach Bruce Weber, who could relate to Murray State's dilemma after spending five years at Southern Illinois. "I think our pressure tired them out as the game went on."

MURRAY ST. (28-5)-Victor 5-8 4-5 15, Whelchel 2-4 3-4 8, Hornig 01-0-0 0, Paschel 1-3 0-2 3, Shumate 5-14 0-0 13, Akin 0-0 0-0 0, Chiles 3-13 1-2 8, Jones 1-3 2-2 5, Witherspoon 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 17-49 11-17 53.

ILLINOIS (24-6)-Augustine 4-6 2-4 10, Powell 4-6 3-4 11, Head 3-7 0-0 8, Williams 3-11 0-0 8, Brown 8-17 2-3 21, Spears 0-0 0-0 0, Howard 0-0 0-0 0, McBride 1-3 0-0 3, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Randle 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 1-5 0-0 2, Ingram 3-5 2-2 9. Totals 27-60 9-13 72.

Halftime score-Illinois 35, Murray St. 28 . 3-Point Goals-Murray State 8-20, (C Victor 1-2, A Whelchel 1-2, K Paschel 1-2, C Shumate 3-7, A Chiles 1-4, R Jones 1-2, S Witherspoon 0-1), Illinois 9-24, (L Head 2-5, D Williams 2-7, D Brown 3-8, R McBride 1-2, N Smith 0-1, J Ingram 1-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Murray State 27 (Victor 7), Illinois 43 (Augustine 8). Assists-Murray State 8 (Whelchel 3), Illinois 19 (Williams (8). Total fouls-Murray State 13, Illinois 17.

No. 2 Mississippi State 85, No. 15 Monmouth 52

ORLANDO, Fla. - Mississippi State withstood Monmouth's early barrage of 3-pointers and won in a blowout - just as expected.

Lawrence Roberts scored 19 points, and the second-seeded Bulldogs outlasted the Hawks .

Branden Vincent added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Shane Power had 13 points while Gary Ervin scored 11.

Timmy Bowers had nine assists, tying his career high, and six rebounds to go with five points and three steals.

Roberts appeared unhindered by an ankle injury that kept him out of practice this week.

When the Southeastern Conference's player of the year was raked across the face with 10:43 to go, he sat for good.

The Bulldogs (26-3) advanced to meet the winner of the Louisville-Xavier game played later Friday night.

Mississippi State was upset as a five seed by Butler in the first round of last year's tournament.

Monmouth (21-12), seeded 15th, hasn't won a tournament game in three appearances.

Dwayne Byfield scored 12 points to lead Monmouth, the Northeast Conference champions.

Blake Hamilton was held to six points, almost 11 less than his average.

MONMOUTH, N.J. (21-12)-Krayl 3-5 1-5 9, Hamilton 2-4 2-3 6, Boxler 2-5 0-0 4, Azzarelli 1-3 0-0 2, Byfield 4-10 0-0 12, Delic 1-4 0-0 3, Kaplan 1-2 0-0 3, Owens 0-3 0-0 0, Warner 0-1 0-0 0, Stephens 0-3 2-2 2, Alston 1-2 1-2 3, Hamlett 1-1 0-1 2, Kenny 1-4 0-0 3, Anderson 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 18-51 7-15 52.

MISSISSIPPI ST. (26-3)-Roberts 6-9 5-5 19, Power 4-6 2-2 13, Vincent 4-4 6-10 14, Bowers 2-8 0-0 5, Frazier 1-6 0-0 3, Ervin 4-5 3-3 11, Buse 1-1 0-0 3, Boler 0-1 0-0 0, Slater 0-4 0-0 0, Morgan 1-1 0-1 2, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, Stelmach 2-4 1-2 5, Campbell 4-5 0-0 8. Totals 30-56 17-23 85.

Halftime score-Mississippi St. 46, Monmouth, N.J. 34. 3-Point Goals-Monmouth, N.J. 9-27 (Byfield 4-8, Krayl 2-2, Kaplan 1-2, Kenny 1-4, Delic 1-4, Alston 0-1, Owens 0-1, Warner 0-1, Azzarelli 0-2, Stephens 0-2), Mississippi St. 8-22 (Power 3-3, Roberts 2-3, Buse 1-1, Frazier 1-5, Bowers 1-6, Boler 0-1, Slater 0-1, Stelmach 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Monmouth, N.J. 20 (Alston 5), Mississippi St. 47 (Vincent 11). Assists-Monmouth, N.J. 12 (Alston, Anderson, Azzarelli, Kaplan 2), Mississippi St. 19 (Bowers 9). Total fouls-Monmouth, N.J. 18, Mississippi St. 13.




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