Kendall Gill scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds Saturday as fourth-ranked Illinois defeated No. 15 Memphis State, 83-71, in the championship of the Old Style tournament at Rosemont, Ill.
But it was Gill's defense that kept Illinois (10-0) undefeated.
Gill, a 6-foot-6 senior, was instrumental in holding Memphis State's Elliot Perry to 17 points in a matchup of two of the country's best guards. Perry had scored 33 in Memphis State's overtime victory over Ball State Friday.
"I don't think Perry hurt us that much," Illinois Coach Lou Henson said. "We did as good a job on Perry as you can do."
Gill said he wanted to keep Perry on the perimeter.
"I tried to not let him drive too much," said Gill, who was voted the tournament MVP. "He's a good ballplayer. . . . I think he hurt himself a little."
Memphis State Coach Larry Finch said Perry was fatigued after playing 43 minutes in the first-round game late Friday night. Perry, a junior, had to leave the game with a leg cramp for 2 1/2 minutes in the second half as the Tigers were trying to rally.
"We were a little tired . . . but that is no excuse for not playing up to our ability," Perry said. "No matter how tired you are, you still have to go out and play hard."
Marcus Liberty scored 25 points and Illinois held a 44-33 rebounding edge as 6-foot-7 center-forward Ervin Small had 17 rebounds.
Gill scored 16 points in the first half and Liberty added 12 as Illinois took control early.
Memphis State's only lead came at the start on Todd Mundt's two free throws. Illinois scored the next nine points before Memphis State closed to 18-13. The Illini then went on a 14-5 run over the next six minutes.
OTHER TOP 25 TEAMS
No. 2 Kansas 83, Stanford 61--Jeff Gueldner sparked a 22-7 run as the Jayhawks ended the Cardinal's nine-game winning streak by winning the BMA Holiday tournament title at Kansas City, Mo.
Five minutes into the second half, Kansas (13-0) was ahead, 54-35.
No. 5 Michigan 107, E. Michigan 83--Loy Vaught scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half as the Wolverines got their 1,000th victory in a nonconference game at Ann Arbor, Mich.
Demetrius Calip scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half as Michigan (10-1) gained a 52-36 halftime lead. Michigan, the 65th team to win 1,000 games, has won 10 in a row since a season-opening loss to Arizona.
No. 6 Oklahoma 99, Tulsa 78--The Sooners were held to fewer than 130 points for only the second time this season, but Tony Martin scored 27 points and sparked big runs in each half in helping his team win the All-College Tournament at Oklahoma City.
No. 7 Missouri 119, Kearney State 88--Anthony Peeler (24 points) and Travis Ford (20) ended shooting slumps to lead the Tigers at Columbia, Mo.
Peeler came off the bench to make 10 of 20 shots and get eight assists, and Ford, starting his first game, made seven of 10 from the field, including four of six three-pointers.
Nathan Buntin had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Missouri (11-1). Jamal Coleman scored 14, Brad Sutton added 12 and John McIntyre had 10 for the Tigers, who have lost only to Illinois.
No. 8 Louisville 86, Kentucky 79--Cornelius Holden and Keith Williams each scored two baskets in an 11-2 spurt midway in the second half that carried the Cardinals to victory at Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky (5-5) had rallied from a 42-35 halftime deficit to take a 60-59 lead when Sean Woods drove the length of the floor for a layup with 10:54 remaining.
No. 9 Louisiana State 100, Hardin-Simmons 66--All-American guard Chris Jackson broke a two-game slump with 27 points at Baton Rouge, La.
No. 18 Iowa 55, Monmouth, N.J. 46--The Hawkeyes made eight of 10 free throws in the final four minutes and rallied in the second half at Iowa City, Iowa.
Michael Ingram's basket with 3:53 to play gave Iowa (8-1) a 45-40 lead, but Alex Blackwell's basket pulled Monmouth (3-6) within three before the Hawkeyes made the free throws to put the game away.
No. 21 Arizona 85, Purdue 66--The Wildcats won the Fiesta Bowl tournament for the fifth time as Jud Buechler scored 23 points and Sean Rooks added 19.
Arizona (5-2) led, 38-35, at halftime but outscored Purdue, 23-8, to take a 61-43 with 10:56 remaining. The Boilermakers (7-2) closed to 64-55, but Arizona pulled away with a 10-0 run.
Penn State (7-2) defeated Wake Forest (6-3), 67-63, in the tournament's third-place game.
No. 22 Alabama 64, Santa Clara 48--Melvin Cheatum scored 20 points and Keith Askins made four three-point baskets in a second-half runaway as Crimson Tide won the Cable Car championship at Santa Clara, Calif.
Cheatum scored 18 first-half points as Alabama (9-2) built a 24-20 lead. Then Askins scored 15 of his 17 points in an eight-minute stretch of the second half, including back-to-back three-point shots that turned a nine-point edge into a 36-24 lead.
No. 24 North Carolina 106, Colorado 101--Rick Fox scored 26 points and Hubert Davis 24 as the Tar Heels finished third in the Mile High tournament at Denver.