By IlliniGuys Staff
November 7, 2022
(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)
Coleman Hawkins scored 18 of his career-high 23 points in the first half and transfer guard Terrence Shannon scored 24 as 23rd ranked Illinois opened the season with an 87-57 win over Eastern Illinois Monday night.
Hawkins' previous single-game best was 18 points against Indiana in the Big Ten tournament last March, but the junior showed a new confidence in his shot in going 5-of-6 from three-point range in the first half. He added a game-high 12 rebounds.
Shannon, the Chicago native who transferred this spring after three seasons at Texas Tech, was a bundle of athletic energy on both ends of the court. The 6-foot-7 guard brought down the house with a thunderous half-court dunk on a fast break and later drew oohs and aahs with a dramatic block to negate an EIU fast-break layup.
Dain Dainja, seeing his first action in an Illinois uniform after transferring midseason last year from Baylor, came off the bench to score 17 points and grab 10 rebounds for Illinois (1-0), who improves to 7-0 all-time against the Panthers.
Eastern Illinois (0-1) was led by Kinyon Hodges with 14 points. Panthers center Jermaine Hamlin, the Lincoln native who played two years for Illinois before transferring after the 2020-21 season, scored six points in his return to State Farm Center.
Illinois returns to action Friday night when they host Missouri-Kansas City in a game that will feature former Illini head coach Bruce Weber in his debut as a game analyst for Big Ten Network.
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