Illinois 79, Eastern Kentucky 56
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ Anthony Welch scored 11 points Friday night as No. 12 Illinois used a balanced attack to beat Eastern Kentucky 79-56 in the first round of the Illini Classic Tournament.
Efrem Winters and Tony Wysinger added 10 points each, while Scott Meents, Bruce Douglas and Ken Norman each chipped in nine points. Ten Illinois players scored as the Illini took an early lead and cleared the bench.
Eastern Kentucky’s Antonio Parris scored 24 points for the Colonels, 2-2, providing most of the second half scoring for his squad.
Illinois, 4-1, moved into Saturday’s championship game. They have won all seven previous Illini tournaments.
The win was Ccoach Lou Henson’s 200th in 11 years at Illinois, against 110 defeats. He has won 440 games in his 23 years as a college basketball coach. It was also Illinois’ 27th straight home court win.
Illinois dominated the contest from the start, outscoring the Colonels 19-6 in the first nine minutes of the game. The Illini controlled the offensive and defensive boards, taking a 39-20 lead at halftime.
Illinois guard Doug Altenberger, who is nursing an injured knee, scored two points in limited action Friday. He is not expected to play Saturday.