The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Shannon, Goode spark late surge for No. 23 Illinois in 23-point win over Valparaiso

James Hoeck
Guard Terrance Shannon Jr. sprints to the hoop as Friday night’s game against Valparaiso second half takes takes place.

After falling to No. 4 Marquette previously, Friday night provided No. 23 Illinois menʼs basketball with a prime chance to bounce back into the win column. Despite early struggles, the Illini took advantage of the opportunity to knock off the Valparaiso Beacons by an 87-64 scoreline.

Senior forward Coleman Hawkins was out for the Illini after picking up a left knee injury, resulting in redshirt junior forward Dain Dainja filling in his spot in the starting five. He was joined by usual starters fifth-year guard Terrence Shannon Jr., sophomore guard Ty Rodgers, graduate student forward Marcus Domask and graduate student forward Quincy Guerrier.

Donning their navy blue jerseys for the first time this season, the Illini took the floor with Dainja winning the teamʼs first tipoff of the season. However, Illinois got off to yet another error-filled, sloppy start while the visiting Beacons took an early 13-4 lead five minutes in.

Despite delivering a monster dunk for the teamʼs second bucket, Dainja was called for a technical foul that severely halted Illinoisʼ momentum. Despite big three-point makes early on from Shannon and junior guard Luke Goode, Valparaiso maintained an 18-15 lead ten minutes into the half.

The Illiniʼs shooting slumps continued as a stunned State Farm Center bore witness to a late 8-0 run to bring the visitorʼs lead to 10. Another big separator between the two teamʼs first halves came at the free-throw line. The Beacons took advantage of their chances, going 10-12 from the line. The Illini, on the other hand, shot a measly 5-13.

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    The final three minutes of the first half saw Illinois began to find its stride offensively, with graduate student guard Justin Harmon leading the way as four straight makes cut the deficit to four. However, Valparaiso continued to finish efficiently and headed into the halftime break up by a 45-38 margin.

    Guard/forward Luke Goode shoots for three during the second half of Friday night’s matchup. (James Hoeck)

    Shannon opened the second half scoring with back-to-back explosive drives to the basket, and the Illini quickly began to battle back with an early 7-2 run. While the Beacons werenʼt backing down, three straight triples from Shannon and Goode topped off a 15-2 run from the Illini to regain the lead at 60-53 with 13:08 remaining.

    The guard duo truly came alive in the second half, scoring 18 of Illinoisʼ first 22 points. The now rejuvenated squad got ahead and never looked back, flying toward a double digit lead. Dainja joined in on the fun with strong clean up in the paint, converting 5-6 from the field with five minutes left in the contest.

    Now fully in control, the Illini closed out the game in front of a now electric arena 87-64. Shannon finished the night as the top scorer with 22 points, Dainja following suit with 16 points and Goode not far behind with 13 points.

    A short turnaround for Underwoodʼs squad will see them back on the court on Sunday as they welcome the Southern Jaguars to Champaign.



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    About the Contributors
    James Kim, Sports Editor
    My name is James Kim and I’m a senior studying English with a minor in business. This is my third year with The Daily Illini and it’s been an amazing ride so far. When I joined in fall 2021, I began as a staff writer for the sports section where I covered women’s tennis. In spring 2022, I became an assistant sports editor and started covering soccer and Illinois men’s basketball. From spring 2023 onwards I’ve been working as the sports editor! In addition to being an Illini and Real Madrid fanatic, I also love watching movies and TV shows. If you have any questions about writing for The DI, you can reach me at my email below. I-L-L!
    James Hoeck, Photo Editor
    Heyo! I am James Hoeck, a third-year undergraduate student in photography with a minor in media. I have been a part of Illini Media for two years, starting back in fall 2021. I hold the position of Photo Editor here at The Daily Illini. I also work as Photo Editor for Illini Media’s Illio Yearbook. There is a good chance you will see me out and about on campus taking photos for my personal work or for The DI and/or Illio! If you want to check out more of my work, visit my socials linked below.