No. 11 Illinois gets guards back, beats Arkansas State 92-53

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — No. 11 Illinois welcomed guards Andre Curbelo and Trent Frazier back into the lineup Friday night, and overwhelmed Arkansas State in a 92-53 blowout.

Curbelo finished with eight points, seven assists and four rebounds for Illinois (2-0), while Frazier, who returned from a shoulder injury, added 12 points and four rebounds.

Marquis Eaton led the Red Wolves (1-1) with 13 points, while Arkansas transfer Desi Sills added eight points.

Illinois forward Coleman Hawkins scored 17 points, had a career-high 12 rebounds and four assists, while Jacob Grandison finished with 17 points.

Curbelo, who returned from a concussion, made his presence felt early on, making four first-half assists. One was a lob to a streaking Hawkins for an open dunk and another was a no-look pass over his shoulder to Omar Payne, who slammed it home.

The Illini started the game with an 18-4 run, while Arkansas State started 2 of 11 from the field.

Illinois finished the first half on an 18-2 run, and went into the break with a 48-26 lead and a 15-2 edge in transition points.

BIG PICTURE: Illinois heads into the Gavitt Tipoff Games next week with plenty of confidence in its lineup, even with star center Kofi Cockburn set to miss out due to his three-game suspension.

UP NEXT:

Illinois: At Marquette on Monday.

Arkansas State: Hosts Central Baptist College on Monday.

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