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Men's College Basketball
Preview
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 Hampton.

“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).

TIP-INS

1. This will be the first meeting between the programs.

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
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Hampton 4-5 W3 2-1 1-3 1-1 1-2 3-3 2-0
Illinois 7-3 L2 5-0 0-1 2-2 3-0 4-3 0-0
Last Meeting
Hampton Illinois
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Hampton N/A
Illinois N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Hampton N/A
Illinois N/A
Assists Player  
Hampton N/A
Illinois N/A
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Hampton Q. Chievous 112 41.2 21
Illinois R. Rice 178 50.9 43
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Hampton Q. Chievous 73 15 58
Illinois R. Rice 67 17 50
Assists Player  
Hampton D. Powers 32
Illinois A. Starks 33
Quickchart Matchup
Hampton Off vs  Illinois Defense
64.4 Points For
65.2 Points Against
40.5 FG%
40.2 FG%
34.0 Reb
31.9 Reb
Illinois Off vs  Hampton Defense
80.0 Points For
67.6 Points Against
44.6 FG%
38.2 FG%
31.9 Reb
32.9 Reb