Illinois routs Longwood 92-45 behind Jordan, Frazier
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) With leading Illinois scorer Leron Black out with an injury, coach Brad Underwood turned to Aaron Jordan on Wednesday night and the junior did not disappoint. In his first start of the year, Jordan poured in a career-high 22 points and snagged a team-high eight rebounds in Illinois’ 92-45 victory over Longwood.
Trent Frazier also had a big night, scoring a career-high 20 points with four assists, four rebounds and zero turnovers.
”He has unique speed, he has tremendous quickness,” Underwood said of Jordan. ”Now when you throw his anticipation in there, he can do things some other guys can’t.”
Black missed his first game of the season with a hyperextended elbow and there is no timetable for his return.
Michael Finke got things rolling for the Illini with a baseline jumper to start the game. He also buried his first two shots from downtown, and scored 14 of his 19 points in the first half.
The Lancers held a 12-10 lead with about 12 minutes remaining in first half, but after a 3 by Finke, Longwood never took the lead again. Illinois finished on an 18-4 run and entered the break with a 26-point lead.
Illinois (8-4) shot 51.4 percent in the first half, 41.4 percent in the second, and outrebounded Longwood 52 to 23.
Longwood (3-7) committed 24 turnovers and struggled to operate under Illinois’ pressure. The Lancers shot 34 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from beyond the arc, and hit 16 field goals.
”We’re going to experience some strife,” Longwood coach Jayson Gee said. ”We gotta grow through it, and not go through it.”
JaShaun Smith scored 10 points for the Lancers (3-7). Leading scorer Isaiah Walton, averaging 18.9 points per game, was held to four points in 14 minutes before leaving the game with a lower leg injury.
Illinois totaled 20 assists and pushed its non-conference home winning streak to 13 games.
”We challenged our team with a couple things before the game,” Underwood said. ”I did not want the ball to stick.”
Longwood: The Lancers are on a two-game losing streak after the loss to the Illini. The 47-point defeat is Longwood’s largest of the season. Depending on the extent of Walton’s injury, the Lancers may find it hard to bounce back.
Illinois: The Illini took care of business without starter Black and key reserve Kipper Nichols. Jordan looked comfortable in his first start of the season and showed that he can fill the scoring void in Black’s absence.
Entering Wednesday’s matchup, Jordan led the nation in 3-point shooting at 62.5 percent. His numbers dropped against the Lancers, but he still finished 4 of 8 from behind the arc. Jordan leads the Illini with 29 made three-pointers this season, and has reached double figures in nine of 12 games.
Frazier has scored a career high in back-to-back games. Through his first 10 games of the season, he made just four 3-pointers, but over the last two he has nailed five. Underwood said Frazier has become more confident, and the freshman has proven to be Illinois’ most explosive guard as of late.
Illinois: The Illini will have a few days off before heading to Chicago on Saturday. Illinois is scheduled to face New Mexico in the Dynegy Shootout.
Longwood: The Lancers head home for a matchup with Cornell on Saturday. The Big Red is led by Matt Morgan who is averaging 22.9 points and four rebounds per game.