Champaign-Urbana, Ill. - Illinois, the #1-ranked team in the nation, placed all five starters in double figures in a 93-56 victory over Valpo (2-6). The Crusaders were led by Dan Oppland with 16 points, while Vince Humphrey added 10.
Dee Brown led the undefeated Illini (10-0) with 19 points. The junior guard made four of five from 3-point range. Deron Williams tallied 15 points and seven assists, while Roger Powell Jr. scored 14. Luther Head added 11 points and a game-high nine assists, and James Augustine contributed 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Illinois, which shot 59 percent overall (40-68) was particularly red-hot in the first half, stretching a seven-point lead to 26 (49-23) at halftime with a 35-15 run. Led by three, 3-pointers by Brown, Illinois drained six, first-half treys. Oppland led Valpo with nine points at halftime.
In the second half, Illinois opened as much as an 87-47 lead before Humphrey scored eight of his points to cut the deficit to 87-53 with two minutes remaining.
Valpo finished shooting 34 percent overall, hitting 5-of-17 from 3-point territory. Illinois made 8-of-21 3-point shots and outrebounded the Crusaders 37-32.
Following Christmas, Valpo plays Penn State on Dec. 28 at 4:30 MT (5:30 CT) in the opening game of the Arizona State Hoops Classic. The Crusaders will play four straight days, travelling to the Las Vegas Holiday Classic for games Dec. 30 and 31.