#25 Illini Open Season With Exhibition Rout of Ottawa

By IlliniGuys Staff

October 20, 2023

Freshman Amani Hansberry (35) recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds in just 14 minutes in Friday night's exhibition. (Courtesy Illinois Athletics)

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 18 points and freshman Amani Hansberry posted a double-double as 25th ranked Illinois breezed to a 116-65 victory over Ottawa (Kan.) in a season-opening exhibition game Friday night.

The Illini hit their first six shots from the field as they built a 19-4 lead in the first five minutes in the game and were never challenged by the NAIA visitors from Kansas.

It was the first game in an Illinois uniform for six players, including three veteran transfers.  Former Southern Illinois standout Marcus Domask filled the stat sheet with 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Chicago native and Utah Valley State transfer Justin Harmon scored 11 points.  Quincy Guerrier is playing his final season in Champaign after splitting his college career at Syracuse and Oregon and the versatile big man made his debut with 10 points.

Hansberry, a highly sought-after prospect from Baltimore, was impressive with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting with 12 rebounds in just 14 minutes on the floor while fellow freshman Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn added 15 points.  Point guard Nico Moretti joined the program last January and dished out 4 assists in his first action in Orange and Blue.

Luke Goode scored 11 points and hit a team-high three shots from the 3-point arc and Coleman Hawkins added 10 as no Illini played more than 20 minutes.

Illinois coach Brad Underwood has said in the offseason that he wants better shot selection than what he saw last season and that may need some work as the Illini launched 42 of 78 shots from 3-point range, making 14 of them.

Illinois plays its second and final exhibition a week from Sunday when #1 Kansas and former Illini coach Bill Self visits for a fundraiser to go to assisting relief efforts resulting from the Maui wildfires.

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for most postgame coverage from State Farm Center.

 

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