Illinois found just enough energy to put away Norfolk State to remain unbeaten.
The No. 10 Illinois Fighting Illini fought off a little leftover road fatigue to hold on and beat the Norforlk State Spartans 64-54 on Tuesday night.
After an impressive road win over the weekend at No. 14 Gonzaga, the Illini struggled to make shots against the Spartans and match the same intensity it took to win on the road. Illinois took a 32-29 lead to the half against Norfolk State, requiring a solid second-half effort to avoid falling victim to the upset bid by the Spartans.
Illinois, now 11-0, earned the win despite shooting just 35 percent from the floor. Brandon Paul paced Illinois with 14 points and eight rebounds, but made just three of 10 shots with all three makes from behind the three-point arc. Senior guard D.J. Richardson added 11 points for Illinois.
Freshman forward Rashid Gaston played big for the now 6-6 Norfolk State, with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Illinois will put their undefeated record to the test next on Sunday evening when they host Eastern Kentucky in Champaign.