CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Guard Trent Meacham scored a career-high 26 points and Chester Frazier and Mike Tisdale each had eight as Illinois overpowered Weber State 78-61 Saturday at Assembly Hall.
The Illini, who were coming off a 69-61 loss to Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, controlled the pace and tempo of the game from start to finish.
Illinois (5-2) used an early 7-0 run, highlighted by two Meacham 3-pointers, to take a 14-5 lead with 14:14 to play in the first half. Ahead 28-17 with 8:19 to play in the first, Illinois went on another run, this time putting together a string of nine unanswered points over the next three minutes. The Illini held the Wildcats to just two points over the final 4 minutes and 30 seconds, leading 44-22 going into halftime.
Meacham, who entered the game averaging 8.3 points per game, came off the bench to score 20 first-half points, hitting 4-of-8 3-point attempts. His career day topped a 24-point performance against Florida A&M on Nov. 19, 2006, when he hit a school record-tying eight 3-pointers.
Juan Pablo Silveira led the Wildcats (2-4) with 10 points and Dezmon Harris added nine points.
The Wildcats struggled to take care of the ball committing 21 turnovers, and 12 in the first half. Weber State converted on just 6-of-22 shots from the field in the first half.
Meanwhile, Illinois shot 61.3 percent from the field during the first 20 minutes, hitting 19-of-31 shots and 7-of-12 3-point attempts.