Guard D.J. Richardson scored a team-high 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting, and the Illinois men's basketball team overwhelmed West Virginia 47-26 during a 20-minute exhibition scrimmage Wednesday at Aviano Air Base in Italy. The Illini built an early 27-8 lead and never slowed down as the Illini bounced back from a loss to the New Zealand national team Tuesday.

CHAMPAIGN -- Guard D.J. Richardson scored a team-high 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting, and the Illinois men's basketball team overwhelmed West Virginia 47-26 during a 20-minute exhibition scrimmage Wednesday at Aviano Air Base in Italy. The Illini built an early 27-8 lead and never slowed down as the Illini bounced back from a loss to the New Zealand national team Tuesday.


"As a coach, you want to have improvement on every possession, every game,'' coach Bruce Weber said. "It happened today. We played at that magic level. We shot so well after we struggled in the first two games and the intrasquad scrimmage.


"The whole thing was energy. We got after West Virginia, turned them over. No matter what five we put in there, we controlled the game. It was something I enjoyed. The last couple of years, we put the foot on the throttle, but we'd let it up and let teams back into games.''


The Illini shot 62.5 percent from the field.


The scrimmage completed a busy day on the base for the Illini, who joined the Mountaineers in a clinic with the children of the servicemen. The Illini also scrimmaged the Aviano varsity, winning a 25-7 game against the group of airmen. Illini sophomore Joseph Bertrand also won the dunk contest that included players from West Virginia and the Aviano team.


Illinois travels to Como on Thursday and will face Castellanze Select.