User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Illinois beats Butler for Maui Classic

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) - The Illinois caught a huge wave of scoring in Hawaii and rode it all the way to the Maui Invitational title.

Advertisement
Now, the Illini are hoping to carry that success to bigger tournaments that start in March.

``We are excited - we are not done,'' Illinois coach John Groce said Wednesday night after Illinois beat Butler 78-61 to top an eight-team field that included No. 9 North Carolina and Marquette.

``It is an extremely great start for our basketball team, but we have to make sure we do not eat the poisonous pill of success,'' Groce said.

Brandon Paul scored 20 points to lead Illinois in the team's third straight double-digit win.

``We came out with the mindset that we wanted to prove ourselves, and I think we did that,'' Paul said. ``We're in no shape to just stop right here.''

The Illini (6-0) held off several attempts by Butler to string points together in the second half. Paul was one of four players in double figures, along with Tracy Abrams with 17 points and Tyler Griffey and D.J. Richardson with 14 each.

Illinois shot 48 percent as Butler (3-2) relied almost exclusively on point guard Rotnei Clarke to score. Clarke had 27 points and took nearly one-third his team's shots.

Butler coach Brad Stevens said he feels Illinois is better than people think, and Paul is a top-notch professional prospect.

``Anyone who thinks that's a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team, I would argue with them,'' Stevens said.

After the buzzer, the Illini players went to center court to get gray championship T-shirts and kukui nut leis. Paul got a special lei as tournament MVP and held up a basketball-shaped trophy as a contingent of Illinois fans cheered.

Illinois won by outshooting Butler in the first half and countering each Bulldog run in the second.

After the Bulldogs pulled within five points with 12:26 left, the Illini went on a 10-point run highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Griffey. He hit one from the right side, and after Kellen Dunham missed a 3 on the other end, Griffey took a pass and fired successfully from near the top of the key.

While Clarke scored 16 points in the first half for Butler, his teammates made only four baskets.

In the middle of a nine-point run, Paul gave Illinois a 12-point lead with a straightaway 3-pointer after Clarke missed on the other end. One basket later, the Illini led 37-22 with less than four minutes left in the half.

Illinois and Butler each reached the tournament's title game by winning games on consecutive days.

Butler opened the event with a buzzer-beating win over Marquette, 72-71, after Clarke launched a running 22-foot 3-pointer from the right side as time expired. The Bulldogs then outplayed North Carolina in the second round, halting several comeback attempts from the Tar Heels en route to an 11-point win.

Illinois easily won its first two games, beating USC by 30 and Division II Chaminade by 24. It never trailed in the tournament.

Groce said he felt honored to top the field.

``Our guys are humbled,'' he said.

Illinois and Butler had not played each other since 1971.

---

Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia .

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: Props - Kentucky Wildcats
UNC knocks off Davidson, 90-72
Providence routs FSU as short 'dogs
Notre Dame cruises past UMass, 81-68
Clemson edges Nevada in St. Thomas
Oregon State swamps Concordia, 92-35
Gonzaga routs St Thomas Aquinas,109-55
SMU tops EWU 77-68, eyes Arkansas
Florida's Carter uncertain with foot sprain
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA BK  Hot Streaks
36-24 L5 Days, +1,492 This Year
8-1 Guarantees TY
15-6 Last 21 CBK Run
7-1 Last 8 Guarantees
10-3 Last 3 Days, 12-4 Last 16
7-1 L8 Guaranteed Plays
4-2 NCAA BK Last 6 Plays
6-3 CBK Picks Y'day
4 Straight CBK Wins
NCAABK College Basketball Expert Sports Picks- UNC Charlotte 49ers at Miami Hurricanes
2014 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1492
Tony Stoffo + 825
Joe Williams + 740
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1139
Joe Williams + 840
Tony Stoffo + 750
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Andy Iskoe 100 %
Stephen Nover 75 %
Doc's Sports 71 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 690
Doc's Sports + 480
Kyle Hunter + 480
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 390
Antony Dinero + 180
Kyle Hunter + 70
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 760
Joe Williams + 600
The Gold Sheet + 570
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest