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Wednesday, Aug. 13

Illinois European trip

Game 1 recap updated     Send a link to a friend

[AUG. 13, 2003]  STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Junior guard Luther Head hit a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining in overtime to give Illinois a gutsy 110-109 victory over the Swedish University Games squad Monday evening in Stockholm.

"The clock was running down, I had an open shot, and I hit it," Head said. "They were a good team, but we finally played some good defense and made some shots to get us back in the game."

Illinois fell behind 37-23 after the first quarter and had to battle through foul troubles the remainder of the game. The Illini finished the game with just five eligible players after four players fouled out.

"I'm really happy we won because this was a tough game," head coach Bruce Weber said. "You can make all kinds of excuses because we had a long travel day yesterday, we got into big-time foul trouble, and Sweden has some really good players, but we responded well after falling behind by more than 15 points early. We needed everyone we brought along since four of our guys fouled out. It was nice to get a win in a tough situation. We got a feeling of what it is going to be like in a lot of games this season.

"Luther obviously made a big shot, and Dee made some great plays, especially down the stretch, to get us into overtime. James Augustine and Aaron Spears played some tough minutes when we had no one else to look to on the inside. I'm glad we didn't have to go into another overtime, or we might have had to play short-handed. This may be the best team we play over here, but I hope not."

Dee Brown led all scorers with 28 points, while Head and Roger Powell each scored 19. Brown gave the Illini their first lead, at 66-65, with a 3-pointer at the 6:02 mark of the third quarter.


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Hot shooting in the first quarter got the Swedes off to a big lead, but the Illini were able to close within eight at halftime. Using international rules, where a team shoots two free throws beginning with the fifth foul in each quarter, Sweden made 22 of 26 free throws in the first half.

The Illini cut down on the fouls in the second half yet had four players foul out of the game: Deron Williams, James Augustine, Roger Powell and Jack Ingram. Illinois finished the game with five eligible players, three of whom had four fouls.

After a tough early start defensively, the Illini held Sweden to just 62 points over the last three quarters of regulation. Illinois dominated the boards by a 56-29 count after trailing by an 18-15 count at halftime. Sweden made just 11 of 32 3-point attempts.

Augustine had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Spears missed by one point, with nine points and 10 boards. Head added nine rebounds and four blocks with his 19 points.

The Southern Illinois Salukis, whom Weber led as head coach for the last five seasons, are also in Stockholm for two games and attended the contest. Jim Nystrom, a sophomore at Georgia Tech, was one of the Swedish players.

Click here for box score. [Click here to download the Adobe Acrobat reader.]

[News release]

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