Illinois eases past Western Carolina, 58-35

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP)—Illinois leaned on its big men Monday night, getting 13 points from Mike Tisdale and 11 more from Shaun Pruitt in a 58-35 win over Western Carolina.

Pruitt, a 6-foot-10 senior center, was no surprise. He entered the game as Illinois’ leading scorer at 12 points a game. But Tisdale, a 7-foot-1 freshman center, averaged just 3.8 points a game before Monday.

Illinois (6-3) endured a rough first half, highlighted only by Tisdale’s eight points. The Illini went just over six minutes without scoring during one stretch.

Sophomore guard Brandon Giles led Western Carolina (3-7, 0-2) with 13 points. He was the only Catamount to score in double figures.

Illinois was the second of stop on a two-game Big Ten tour for the Catamounts. Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., No. 13 Indiana coasted to a 100-52 win.

Tisdale was the difference for Illinois. He went on a 6-0 run toward the end of the first half, scoring on a pair of soft jump shots and a dunk, to build a 26-15 lead.

Those points effectively put the game out of reach for the Catamounts, who shot 27.1 percent from the field.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Western Carolina
B. Giles B. Giles
4-14,  13 Pts
6 Rebs, 0 Assists
M. Tisdale M. Tisdale
6-7,  13 Pts
2 Rebs, 0 Assists

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Monday, Dec 17