Champaign, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Rayvonte Rice scored 18 points, leading four starters in double figures, as the Illinois Fighting Illini posted a 64-52 win over the Valparaiso Crusaders in non-conference play at State Farm Center.
Joseph Bertrand accounted for 14 points for the Illini (3-0), Tracy Abrams 12 and Nnanna Egwu 10 points in the triumph for the hosts. Jon Ekey, the only starter not to score in double figures, finished with six points and a game- high 15 rebounds.
The Crusaders (2-1) were led by Jordan Coleman who came away with 15 points and eight rebounds, while LaVonte Dority contributed 12 points in the setback.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well from the floor in the first half, but Purdue managed to offset just 30.3 percent accuracy by hitting on 9-of-12 at the free-throw line. Valpo converted a total of just seven field goals in the frame, en route to a 33-25 deficit at the break.
In the second half Illinois continued to have issues from the floor (.333) and behind the 3-point line (1-of-8), but still improved on the margin of victory.
Valpo, which never led in the game, shot only 11-of-20 at the free-throw line on the night.