Preview: Longwood at Illinois
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[December 13, 2017]
Illinois looks to bounce back
from a disappointing two-week stretch when it hosts Longwood on
Wednesday. The Fighting Illini have dropped three of their first
four games in the month of December, including an 89-82 loss to UNLV
on Saturday when they matched a school record with 36 fouls, and
hope to turn their fortunes around in their first-ever meeting with
"I'm thoroughly frustrated with the fouls," Illinois coach Brad
Underwood told reporters. "I'll take the fight that our guys had but
we have to play a little smarter." Illinois has surrendered an
average of more than 90 points in its last two losses and hopes to
put the defensive clamps on Longwood, which has been held to 60 or
fewer points in three games this season. The Fighting Illini have
won 10 consecutive non-conference home games with their lone loss
coming to Big South Conference foe Winthrop (84-80) last season.
Longwood, which was picked to finish ninth in the Big South
preseason poll, saw its three-game winning streak come to an end
with an 81-70 loss to Virginia Military Institute and aim to get
back into the win column by notching a non-conference road victory
for the first time since Nov. 28, 2015.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
ABOUT LONGWOOD (3-6): B.K. Ashe led the Lancers with 21 points and
Isaiah Walton added 19 before fouling out in the loss to VMI.
Charles Glover, who leads the team in 3-point shooting (50 percent),
went down with a lower-body injury in the second half and is
questionable for Wednesday. "We really lost some momentum when Chuck
went out and Isaiah got into foul trouble," Longwood coach Jayson
Gee told reporters. "We're not good enough at the guard position to
lose players of their caliber down the stretch and still come out on
[to top of second column]
ABOUT ILLINOIS (7-4): Mark Smith went 4-of-5 from 3-point range en
route to a team-high 17 points before fouling out and Trent Frazier
scored 12 of his career-best 16 points in the first half against
UNLV. Leron Black, who leads Illinois in scoring with 13.6 points
per game, played 12 minutes before suffering an elbow injury and his
status for Wednesday's clash is unknown. "We're at the mercy of our
doctors in terms of going through the x-rays and MRIs," Underwood
told reporters. "He's having both of those procedures done and we'll
wait to see what comes of them."
1. The Fighting Illini are ranked 349th nationally in fouls per game
2. Illinois G Aaron Jordan has made 20 of his last 28 attempts from
3. Longwood has dropped 12 straight non-conference road games.
PREDICTION: Illinois 88, Longwood 65
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