CHICAGO — Demetri McCamey set the tone, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the opening eight minutes, and Illinois cruised to a 76-42 victory over Georgia at the United Center on Saturday.
McCamey hit two 3-pointers, a three-point play and two more baskets as the Illini (7-1) grabbed an early 19-6 lead and remained in control the rest of the way. Up seven at halftime, they outscored the Bulldogs 46-19 in the second half and held Georgia scoreless over the final 7:23 to run away with the victory.
Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale scored 14 apiece and Dominique Keller added 11 as the Illini rebounded from a two-point loss to Clemson on Tuesday. Michael Jordan’s son, Jeff, played seven minutes and did not attempt a shot.
It was a rough afternoon for Georgia (5-3), which hit just 18-of-51 shots and committed a season-high 27 turnovers in its second straight loss. Terrance Woodbury scored 13 points but was the only Bulldog in double figures.
After stumbling to a 16-19 record last season, the Illini are looking like a potential NCAA team, and they had no trouble picking apart Georgia.
They shot 33-of-58 overall and hit 9-of-16 3-pointers after converting 33 percent in the first seven games. Keller hit 3-of-4 from long range, while McCamey, Trent Meacham and Chester Frazier converted two.
Although its out-of-conference schedule provides no opportunities for an eye-opening victory, Illinois has not suffered the kind of head-turning losses that marked last season. They fell to Miami (Ohio) and Tennessee State, then dropped their first four Big Ten games a year ago.
Now, they appear to be in better shape.