`Dangerous’ Bertrand lifts Illini to 8-0

SHARE `Dangerous’ Bertrand lifts Illini to 8-0

Normal.dotm

0

0

1

373

2129

STMP

17

4

2614

12.0

0

false

18 pt

18 pt

0

0

false

false

false

/* Style Definitions */

table.MsoNormalTable

{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;

mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;

mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;

mso-style-noshow:yes;

mso-style-parent:””;

mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;

mso-para-margin:0in;

mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;

mso-pagination:widow-orphan;

font-size:12.0pt;

font-family:”Times New Roman”;

mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;

mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;

mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;

mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;

mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;

mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

CHAMPAIGN–After

Illinois’ narrow escape vs. Gardner-Webb on Sunday, John Groce wanted to see

better toughness when the No. 22 Illini took on Georgia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten

Challenge.

The

Illini showed toughness all right. Despite scuffling offensively for long

stretches, they rallied for a 75-62 victory on Wednesday to improve to 8-0.

“If you

had said, `Would you predict 8-0?’ I probably wouldn’t have been bold enough to

do that,” Groce said. “But our guys have been resilient. We’ve been popped in

the mouth two or three times and come back in games and made big plays down the

stretch. Hopefully we continue to do that.”

The

leader of this comeback was redshirt junior Joseph Bertrand, who put on an

offensive show, including a Nightly Top 10 hang-time drive to the basket that

helped Illinois stay unbeaten. The 6-6 sixth man scored 10 straight points,

lifting Illinois from a 58-54 deficit with 7:15 left to a 64-58 lead with 5:25

left against the Yellow Jackets (4-2).

“[Bertrand]

brings energy off the bench,” Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said.

“He’s a great athlete–and he’s just streaky enough to be dangerous.”

Bertrand

and Brandon Paul finished with 15 points apiece, and Tyler Griffey and D.J.

Richardson each had 14 points for Illinois.

Illinois’

victory allowed the Big Ten to salvage a 6-6 tie in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Midwesterners were 4-2 on Tuesday, but surprising losses by No. 13 Michigan

State in Miami and by Wisconsin at home to Virginia were costly in their bid

for a fourth straight Challenge title.

The

ACC now leads 10-3-1 in the series.

Leading

36-35 after a see-saw first half, Illinois seemed to take control at the start

of the second half. It made its first three shots, including three-balls by

Richardson and Griffey, to go ahead 44-37.

But

Georgia Tech took charge and led 58-54 with 7:15 left. That’s when Illinois,

led by Bertrand, answered with a 21-4 barrage to end the game.

“Until you

get to know him, Joe can come off like a quiet guy,” Groce said. “But Joe has

big-time energy. Joe loves to compete. And tonight he competed. He really

ignited the 21-4 run.”

NOTES:

–John

Groce’s 8-0 start is the second best by a first-year coach at Illinois. Fletcher Lane started 12-0 in 1907-08, his only season

as Illini coach.

–Illinois

is 7-1 vs. Georgia Tech, including a 103-92 double overtime victory on Jan. 22,

1989. That was the only other time

Tech has come to Champaign. With that victory, Illinois improved to 17-0 and

was ranked No. 1 in the nation the next day.

The Latest
Alex Lyon stopped all 28 shots in the 4-0 victory in Game 5
State Sen. Darren Bailey had been seeking Trump’s endorsement for months. The downstate farmer met with Trump last year and attended a fundraiser in April in which he snapped a photo with the former president.
Offense has scored three runs in its last three losses to the Orioles, who entered Saturday’s game with a 4.10 ERA - 12th in the AL
“The risk to residents of suburban Cook County remains low, but we want individuals to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox so that they seek medical care if they develop,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, CCDPH chief operating officer.