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No. 12 Illinois smothers Temple

Posted: Saturday November 29, 2003 6:19PM; Updated: Sunday November 30, 2003 12:17AM
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Deron Williams spent last season looking for an open Brian Cook and let him do the bulk of the scoring. With Cook in the NBA, Illinois was looking for other options.

Williams has emerged as one of those options.

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Roger Powell had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Williams added 18 points and Dee Brown 16 to lead No. 12 Illinois to a 75-60 victory over Temple on Saturday.

Illinois (3-0) opened the game on an 18-5 run, keyed by four 3-pointers, including three by Williams. The Illini broke Temple's 2-3 zone by making almost all their baskets from the outside.

"Last year, if I took my shot and missed, I didn't want to shoot any more," Williams said. "Last year with Cook here, my mind-set was just get it to Cook. Now, he's gone and other people have got to step up. I think I'm one who can do that."

The Illini raced to a 27-7 lead and made eight of their first 12 shots.

Illinois coach Bruce Weber shouted, "Zone buster! Zone buster! Move it!" and the Illini would make four or five crisp and uncontested passes around the perimeter before sinking a long-range shot.

They were usually on target.

Powell was 6-for-7 from the floor, Williams 6-for-8 and Brown 6-for-15. Williams and Brown each made four 3's.

When the outside shot wasn't open, Powell was there with a bucket in the paint or he would put back a miss.

"Coach says rebounding is the thing we need to do," Powell said. "I try and focus on that. We have shooters on this team. I can shoot, but I'm not really a shooter. I'm a rebounder and a slasher. If they miss, I try and find the ball."

Illinois had 22 assists.

"I thought our kids did a great job of moving the ball and when you make 3's, it makes it easier," Weber said.

David Hawkins led Temple (0-2) with 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting. No other Owl was in double figures.

"We need a few more people that can score," said Temple coach John Chaney, who remained stuck on 693 career victories. "I just don't have enough firepower. David can't carry us for the rest of the season."

Temple was smothered by Illinois' man defense and had few good looks at the basket in the first half. Many of the Owls' shots were often forced, wildly off target and always contested. They finished only 6-for-23 in the first half and were outrebounded 20-14.

It was the second straight lackluster effort for the Owls, who were coming off a 25-point loss to undermanned Villanova. The Owls, picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Eastern Division, had eight days to prepare for Illinois. They could have used a few more.

Temple had little ball pressure until switching to a 1-2-2 trapping zone early in the second half which forced two straight turnovers and led to four points. Still, that only made the score 52-40.

Williams then sank his fourth 3-pointer on Illinois' next possession to push its lead back to 15. The Illini rolled from there, getting two more 3-pointers to finish with nine.

"We didn't get pressure on the ball, so there were more mistakes made," Chaney said.

Luther Head, Aaron Spears returned for the Illini after serving suspensions for violating team rules. They missed two preseason and two regular season game. Richard McBride is scheduled to miss two more games for violating team rules.

Head scored nine points and Spears was scoreless.

Weber expects both to play more when the Illini play No. 9 North Carolina next week.

"We feel good going to Carolina and hope to get a sweep on the road," he said.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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