CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- D.J. Richardson scored 20 points and Tyler Griffey and Meyers Leonard had career nights in the paint to lead Illinois to a 66-46 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Monday night.
The Illini (2-0) totaled 48 rebounds, better than in any game last season, with Griffey (14) and Leonard (11) setting career highs.
The Cougars (2-1), led by 13 points from Mark Yelovich and 12 from Corey Wickware, fell to 0-11 all time against Big Ten opponents. They suffered their first defeat of the season after winning their first two regular-season games and two exhibitions.
The game was the first of the Cancun Challenge, which includes eight Division I teams. Eight games are being played in the U.S. and then eight in Cancun, Mexico.