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No. 23 Illinois comes from behind to beat Valparaiso

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 22 points and Dain Dainja had 16 as No. 23 Illinois came from behind with a 49-point second half to beat Valparaiso 87-64 on Friday night.

Luke Goode had 13 points for the Fighting Illini (3-1), and Ty Rodgers added 10.

Isaiah Stafford scored 30 points for Valparaiso, including 23 in the first half.

Cooper Schwieger and Jerome Palm each had 12 points and Jaxon Edwards pulled down 14 rebounds for the Beacons (2-2), whose first-year coach is former Illini forward Roger Powell Jr.

After leading nearly the entire first half and by as many as 10 points, Valparaiso was up 45-38 at halftime.

Illinois took over early in the second half with a 17-2 run.

Back-to-back buckets by Dainja drew the Illini within 51-49. Two 3-pointers by Goode, one by Shannon, and two drives to the basket by Shannon put Illinois in front 62-53.

Illinois was minus starting power forward Coleman Hawkins, who sat out with a sore knee, and the Illini had to go deep into their bench early in the game because of foul trouble.

Powell was a fan favorite on the 2004-05 Illinois team that finished 37-2 and won Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships before losing to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game.

He started all 39 games at power forward that season and averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds. He ranks sixth in Illini history in career field goal percentage at 57.2%.


Based on its first-half performance, Valparaiso served notice it could be a team to contend with in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Illinois was plagued by turnovers in the first half, just like in a 71-64 loss Tuesday to No. 4 Marquette, but turned the ball over just twice in the second half.


Valparaiso: After playing their first road game of the season, the Beacons are back home Tuesday to face Western Illinois.

Illinois: Will play Southern on Sunday in the fifth game of a season-opening six-game homestand.

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