Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Recap: Illinois 73, Hampton 55

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[December 18, 2014]  Illinois 73, Hampton 55: Kendrick Nunn scored a season-high 16 points as the Illini beat the visiting Pirates. Rayvonte Rice added 12 points, and Nnanna Egwu had 10 points and five blocks for Illinois (8-3), which posted its 35th straight non-conference home win. The Illini, who also received a team-high eight rebounds off the bench from Leron Black, hit 9-of-21 3-pointers and had a 22-2 free-throw advantage to overcome a season-high 16 turnovers.

Dwight Meikle and Deron Powers scored 12 points apiece to pace Hampton (4-6), which fell to 1-5 on the road. Leading scorer Quinton Chievous added 10 points but shot only 4-of-13 from the field while pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.

The Pirates were within 50-40 following three straight Meikle jumpers but then bogged down with a flurry of turnovers and off-target shots during a nearly seven-minute scoreless drought, and Illinois took advantage with a 15-0 run to take a 65-40 lead. The Pirates never got closer than 18 points during the final five minutes.

Illinois jumped out to a 7-0 advantage and led by as much as 27-11 before Hampton used a 10-0 run to cut the deficit. The Illini closed the half with a 10-4 run, capped by Nunn's buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner to give the hosts a 12-point intermission cushion.

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GAME NOTEBOOK: Illinois' 35-game non-conference home win streak trails only Duke (114 straight) and Minnesota (40) nationally. ... The Illini entered the game ranked fifth nationally in free-throw percentage at 77.2 and improved on their success rate by converting 22-of-26 attempts. ... Hampton, which lost to Iowa 90-56 to open the season, is now 0-10 all-time against Big Ten opponents.

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