Illinois guard Tracy Abrams drives to the basket against USC forward Dewayne… (Eugene Tanner / Associated…)
Something has to give after an opponent finishes the half by hitting its final 11 shots, right?
Well, only slightly.
Illinois managed to overwhelm USC on Monday in nearly every department, winning, 94-64, at the Maui Invitational, handing the Trojans their first loss of the season. It was more points than USC allowed in any game last season.
Brandon Paul led Illinois with 26 points, hitting six three-pointers, added six rebounds and two steals. For USC, Eric Wise had 13 points, J.T. Terrell 11 and Jio Fontan 10.
USC reserve center Omar Oraby, who had a combined 21 points and 12 rebounds in the first two games, was limited to two points and one rebound in five minutes of action and did not play in the second half.
The Fighting Illini had led by as much as 34 points with 1:35 remaining in the opening half. Illinois will next play Division II Chaminade, which turned in the early-season stunner, beating Texas, 86-73, in an earlier game.
On Tuesday, the Trojans (2-1) play Texas (2-1), at 2 p.m. (PST).
USC was attempting to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2001, having opened with back-to-back wins against Coppin State and Long Beach State. Illinois (4-0) was coming off a one-point win against Hawaii on Friday.
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