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|Struggling Illini Face First Top 25 Opponent in Big Ten/ACC Challenge
|POSTED 10:35 a-m Illinois is back in action Wednesday night after a rough stretch in the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament.
The Fighting Illini play at #18 Clemson as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Illinois lost to Utah 60-58 on a buzzer-beating shot after surrendering a double-digit lead midway through the second half then lost to mid-major Bradley 72-68.
The losses dropped Illinois' record to 4-2 on the season. Clemson begins play with a 6-1 record. The Tigers' only loss came in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, 69-60 against Texas A&M. Clemson bounced back with wins over Long Beach State and #10 Butler.
Illinois leads the all-time series with Clemson 2-1. The Tigers beat the Illni last season 76-74 at Assembly Hall and Illinois is 3-7 in the first 10 years of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Illinois is led in scoring by junior guard Demitri McCamey's nearly 13 points per game average. Three others are averaging in double-figures: junior Mike Davis at 11.8, freshman Brandon Paul at 11.3 and junior Mike Tisdale at 10.3. Freshman D.J. Richardson, a Peoria native, is averaging 9.5 points per game. Davis is the team's leading rebounder with 10 per contest and Tisdale is next with 5.3.
Clemson has three double-figure scorers in its starting line-up. Forward Trevor Booker averages about 14 points and 9 rebounds per game, guard Tanner Smith - a long range threat - is averaging 11.6 points per game and forward David Ritter averages 10.7 points for the Tigers.
The tip-off from Littlejohn Coliseum in Charleston, South Carolina is at 6:15 p-m. Coverage begins at 5:30 on WGIL AM 1400.