Courtesy of Illinois Athletics
August 13, 2023
Illinois - Catalonia Box Score courtesy Illinois Athletics
BARCELONA– Four players scored in double figures as Illinois emphasized its transition game and offensive rebounding in a 103-69 victory Sunday over the Catalonia All-Stars. This was the final game in a three-game, nine-day tour of Spain for the Fighting Illini.
Freshman Amani Hansberry scored a game-high 19 points and had a double-double, collecting 11 rebounds including six on the offensive glass. Sophomore Ty Rodgers scored all 13 of his points in the first half on 5-of-5 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws. Senior Coleman Hawkins matched Rodgers with 13 points, hitting a trio of 3-pointers, and finished with nine boards. Senior Justin Harmon also scored in double digits, adding 11.
Head Coach Brad Underwood appointed an assistant to serve as acting coach for each game of the tour, with assistant Chester Frazier directing the Illini today against Catalonia. Illinois employed a third different starting lineup and once again distributed the playing time evenly, with 11 players logging between 13 and 20 minutes.
Illinois settled in after a slow start, taking over midway through the second quarter. The Illini led by seven at the half and pushed it to 12 right after intermission on a Quincy Guerrier drive and Terrence Shannon Jr.'s first basket of the game, a 3-pointer from the wing.
The Illini soon after reeled off 12 unanswered to break the game open at 71-47. Coleman Hawkins started the run with his third triple of the game, followed by a Sencire Harris layup, a Guerrier and-1, a pair of free throws by Harris, and capped by a Luke Goode layup. Illinois never looked back and added a 13-0 fourth-quarter run to extend its leads to as many as 36.
"We made substantial improvements each game of the trip, and it culminated today with our most complete performance," Underwood said. "I liked our growth on defense, and we accomplished what we wanted to in terms of guarding, rebounding, and running into our transition game. We'll worry about the X's and O's as we head into our fall preseason. But we got better in those key areas. That's the identity this team has to have for us to be successful."
"Overall, this was a fabulous trip," Underwood added. "Spain is a beautiful country, and we enjoyed our time in each of the three cities we visited. We saw growth on the basketball court and more importantly provided an opportunity that our players will remember for the rest of their lives. It was special to share this experience with families, staff, and the loyal donors who have been on the trip with us."
Illinois has one night remaining in Spain before traveling home to the United States on Monday.