Hampton at Illinois
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Where: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois
Following a 6-0 start, Illinois has hit a rough
patch, losing three of its last four games. The latest setback came Saturday when
Oregon took advantage of a four-minute-plus Illini scoreless stretch late in
the second half to rally for a 77-70 win the United Center in Chicago. Illinois’
other two losses of late have come against nationally ranked Villanova and
Miami, but it’s a skid the Illini would like to correct with only three more
non-conference games remaining, beginning with Wednesday’s home date with
“We understand it’s a long season,” Illinois senior Nnanna Egwu
told the Champaign News-Gazette after the loss to the Ducks. “We’re going to
find a way to correct ourselves and get prepared for the next game.”
Hampton, of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, has experienced just the
opposite this season. The Pirates lost five of their first six but will bring a
three-game win streak into the State Farm Center.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT HAMPTON (4-5): The Pirates are coming off
wins over Tennessee State (62-54), Coppin State (71-52) and Morgan State
(62-58) – the last two being MEAC foes – but haven’t played since Dec. 8. Quinton
Chievous, a graduate transfer from Tennessee, is pacing the Pirates in scoring
(12.4) and rebounding (8.1) while Dwight Meikle is averaging 11.2 and 4.9 and
Deron Powers is scoring 9.9 and dishing out 3.6 assists. Hampton is holding
opponents to 38.2 shooting from the field but is averaging 15.2 turnovers to
only 10.6 assists per outing.
ABOUT ILLINOIS (7-3): Boosted by his career-high
matching 29 points Saturday, senior Rayvonte Rice is averaging a team-leading
17.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Malcolm Hill is the only other Illini
player scoring in double figures at 13.7, while Egwu is averaging 7.8 and 5.9
rebounds. Despite failing to top 70 points in five straight games, Illinois is
averaging 80 points per outing and also is among the Big Ten leaders in
free-throw shooting (77.2 percent) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).
1. This will be the first meeting between the
2. Illinois is 5-0 in Champaign this season,
including a 114-56 thrashing of the MEAC member Coppin State on Nov. 16.
3. Hampton is 0-8 all-time against Big Ten opponents
following a 90-56 season-opening loss at Iowa last month.
PREDICTION: Illinois 84, Hampton 65
Stats and Records
|No previous meeting.