Sports

No. 24 Illinois tops American 70-55; Malcolm Hill scores 13 points for Illini

  • Illinois' guard Malcolm Hill (21) keeps the ball away from American's guard John Schoof (22) during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz)

    Illinois' guard Malcolm Hill (21) keeps the ball away from American's guard John Schoof (22) during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Illinois forward Leron Black (12) tries to keep the ball away from American guard Charlie Jones (20) during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz)

    Illinois forward Leron Black (12) tries to keep the ball away from American guard Charlie Jones (20) during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice (24) shoots over American guard John Schoof (22) during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz)

    Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice (24) shoots over American guard John Schoof (22) during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz)  (The Associated Press)

Malcolm Hill scored 13 points as Illinois defeated American 70-55 on Saturday.

The Illini (7-1) only led by two points midway through the first half, but a 17-2 run put the Eagles (5-4) in an early deficit.

American whittled the lead to eight with 10:42 remaining in the second half. But the Illini's Jaylon Tate had a three-point play and Hill drained a 3-pointer off a steal on the next possession.

Nnanna Egwu chipped in five points and seven rebounds, while Rayvonte Rice worked his way through a shooting slump, 1-of-7 from the field, to finish with 10 points.

After consecutive poor shooting performances against Baylor and Miami, the Illinois offense was back to its usual form. The Illini shot 48.1 percent from the floor in the first half.

Pee Wee Gardner led American with 16 points.