SIU-Edwardsville vs Illinois

No. 23 Illinois 96, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 69 wire reports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois freshman Brandon Paul didn't wait long to get his name in the school's record book.

Paul scored 22 points in the No. 23 Illini's 96-69 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Friday night, breaking Deon Thomas' record for most points in a freshman debut set in 1990. Thomas scored 21 in his first game.

Paul came out firing, scoring 11 of Illinois' first 21 points. The highly touted freshman was 8 of 15 from the fielding, including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, and added four rebounds and four assists in an all-around effort.

"We wanted to come out with a lot of energy. We all came out really excited to play," he said. "I just wanted to come out and put points on the board. I just want to keep playing hard."

The Illini, ranked in the preseason Top 25 for the first time since 2005, shot 55.4 percent from the field and scored their most points in a game since 105 against Longwood in 2004.

"I was definitely excited about the game, how we played with high energy," said Illinois coach Bruce Weber. "Today the whole thing was energy, excitement and get off to a good, early start, and we did all those things. The crowd got into it. It was a tremendous crowd."

Paul and D.J. Richardson were the first freshmen to start for Illinois since Brian Randle in 2003. It also marked the first time that more than one freshman were in the Illini's starting lineup since the trio of Deron Williams, Dee Brown and James Augustine in 2002.

Denykco Bowles, Aamir McCleary and Stephen Jones had 13 points each for SIU-Edwardsville (0-1), which shot just 34.5 percent from the field.

Weber's teams have been known for their stellar defense, and they didn't let up against an overmatched in-state opponent.

Seven-foot-1 junior Mike Tisdale made his presence known in the paint, grabbing six rebounds with three blocks -- including rejections on SIU-Edwardsville's first two possessions of the game to set the tone for the defense. Junior forward Mike Davis returned to last season's form with 10 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th career double-double.

"Brandon got hot quick, Demetri [McCamey] made a couple shots, I got a dunk, Dominique [Keller]came in and got a dunk. The crowd was electric. The crowd was great tonight," Davis said. "Coach talked about coming out with energy and that's what we did tonight."

The guard play of Richardson and Paul thrilled the crowd at Assembly Hall. Richardson was nursing a sore right shooting elbow after hyper extending it at the end of practice on Thursday, but still finished with 14 points, four assists and no turnovers.

The Cougars struggled to find a way to slow down the suddenly explosive Illini offense, which scored 19 points off turnovers.

While the Illini (1-0) were known last year for slow-paced and low-scoring games, the transition game was up-tempo with energy to spare against SIU-Edwardsville, leading to easy baskets and dunks. Four players scored in double digits with 11 had at least two points.

"Everybody on our team, you never know who's going to score the most points," Richardson said. "We have a team of players that can do a variety of things."

The win marked the 11th straight home opener win for the Illini.

Jeff Jordan was forced to sit out the game as part of a two game suspension by the NCAA for playing in an unsanctioned event during the summer.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
SIU-Edwardsville (0-1)254469
Illinois #23 (1-0) «474996
SIUE:Denykco Bowles 13 Pts
SIUE:Aamir McCleary 5 Reb
SIUE:Aamir McCleary 5 Ast
IL:Brandon Paul 22 Pts
IL:Mike Davis 10 Reb
IL:Demetri McCamey 7 Ast

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Brandon Paul
Aamir McCleary
SIU-Edwardsville Cougars
S. Jones, G303-66-633113
A. McCleary, G304-144-455113
M. Yelovich, F210-55-63145
D. Bowles, F164-93-320313
D. Mavrak, C130-00-03020
N. Bundalo, C181-30-03022
C. Rincker, G152-40-00016
A. Mitchell, G-F140-30-03040
D. Boarden, G133-80-03016
L. Murphy, G133-42-20019
Z. Schneider, F-C90-02-21012
K. Stineman, G80-20-02100
D. Church, G10-00-00000
D. Young, G10-00-00000
Totals 20-5822-2328102169
Illinois Fighting Illini
D. McCamey, G263-54-447211
M. Davis, F224-52-6101010
D. Richardson, G203-58-1014414
A. Legion, G192-61-22015
M. Tisdale, C194-50-06148
B. Paul, G298-152-344222
B. Cole, F203-60-03127
D. Keller, F154-71-13139
R. Semrau, C153-50-06216
T. Griffey, F111-30-01012
B. Chisholm, G21-20-00002
S. Simpson, C20-10-01100
J. Bertrand, GDid Not Play
J. Jordan, GDid Not Play
Totals 36-6518-2641222096
Ohio Valley
EastConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Morehead St.10-614-16200
Jax. State9-720-15151
Tenn. St.8-817-13161
Tenn. Tech8-812-20277
Eastern Ky.5-1112-19248
WestConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
UT Martin10-622-13164
SE Missouri St.9-715-18274
Murray St.8-816-17230
Austin Peay7-911-19261
Eastern Ill.6-1014-15265

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Michigan St.10-820-1550
Ohio St.7-1117-1590
Penn St.6-1215-18101
Other games
Mhead St 59 Final
Kentucky 75
Frl Dksn 61 Final
NCGN 62 Final
FLAGULF 58 Final
Mich St 97
Nridge 64 Final
Purdue 89
W&M 66 Final
UConn 75
PRES 41 Final
Hofstra 65 Final
Kansas 101
TNTC 50 Final
Minn 87
Aus Peay 54 Final
Tenn 83
RIDE 88 Final
Miss St 74
GTOWN 74 Final
Tulane 58
Wright St 69 Final
Wash 74