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NCAA Basketball Cancun Challenge: Illinois Fighting Illini Lead Richmond Spiders At Half

The Illini were led by two double digit scorers in the first half.

Thanks to suffocating defense, the Illinois Fighting Illini are up 37-19 on the Richmond Spiders at half in the first game of the 2011 Cancun Challenge. The Spiders, who came into the game with a 3-1 record shot 24% from the field in the first half, including 2-8 from the three point line.

The Illini meanwhile were led in scoring by sophomore center Meyers Leonard and junior guard D.J. Richardson, who both dropped in 11 points. Neither were particularly efficient, and at 38% from the field, the Illini weren't exactly lighting it up either. But Bruce Weber's team was almost prefect from the free throw line, going 12 of 13.

It has been a struggle for Weber and the Illini so far this season on the offensive end, which wasn't unexpected considering the team's youth. But true to their Big Ten roots, Illinois' defense has been superb in 2011, and that has continued tonight.

For more on the Illinois in the Cancun Challenge, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Illini, visit Hail to the Orange, SB Nation's Illinois Fighting Illini blog.