One timeout. Then another.
And one more.
USC Coach Kevin O'Neill was doing his best to stop the fast-building momentum from Illinois, trying to jump-start the Trojans on Monday night. He called three timeouts, including two in about the span of a minute, and the game was not even 10 minutes old.
He may have had plenty of words. But the Fighting Illini, apparently, had all the answers.
Illinois was well on the way to handing USC its first loss of the season, leading, 57-26, at the half, as this edition went to press, in the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina.
Illinois made its last 11 shots of the half and shot 69%.
USC's reputation as a stellar defensive unit took a major hit with Illinois scoring at will. Last season, the most points Illinois scored in the first half was 44 against Chicago State.