Illinois hits on 21

Sunday, January 30, 2005

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois celebrated 100 years of basketball on Saturday, and the top-ranked Illini made sure they didn't spoil the party.

Deron Williams had 18 points and six assists, and Illinois controlled the game from the opening tip in an 89-66 win over Minnesota.

"I think we wanted to come out and put on a show," Williams said. "We always want to get the job done, but it was a special night with the people in the crowd, so we wanted to win it for them, too."

More than 300 former players and coaches were among the sold-out Assembly Hall crowd that watched the Illini (21-0, 7-0 Big Ten) open the game with a 10-1 run. Roger Powell Jr. scored five of his game-high 21 points during the spurts, and scored seven of Illinois' first 12 points.

Former Illinois coaches Harv Schmidt, Gene Bartow and Lou Henson were among those who came back for the celebration.

Illinois, which wore replica 1989 uniforms for the game, stretched its conference winning streak to 17 games, tying a school record set from 1914 to 1916. James Augustine had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Luther Head scored 10.

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