John Groce took to the floor of Assembly Hall as head coach for the first time in regular-season play on Friday night, and his Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Colgate Red Raiders, 75-55. Illinois was led on the night by guard Brandon Paul, who put up 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists, leading the team in each respective category.
The Illini offense wasn't particularly efficient on Friday night -- both teams shot just 39% from the field. But they dominated in two categories that allowed them to skate to victory. The first category was the three-point line, where Illinois shot 43 percent from downtown while the Raiders shot just 30 percent. The other category was rebounding, where the Lakers out-boarded Colgate, 46-31. That allowed them to take 23 more shots than the Raiders.
Illinois will be back on the court on Monday night when they host the St. Francis, NY Terriers in Champaign, Ill.