Weber seeing intensity he's sought from Illini -

Weber seeing intensity he's sought from Illini

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Basketball coach Bruce Weber says he'd like to bottle the intensity No. 13 Illinois used Monday night to win its season-opener against UC-Irvine.

The Illini led 42-18 at halftime before coasting to a 79-65 win.

On Tuesday, Weber said Illinois' hustle and defensive work in the first 20 minutes were better than anything he saw from last year's 21-15 team.

Brandon Paul led Illinois with 18 points. All were on three-point shots and nine came in three-straight first-half possessions that buried the Anteaters.

Weber says he challenged Paul in the offseason to become a better shooter. Now, he wants the sophomore guard to learn to play hard when he gets tired.

Illinois next faces Toledo at home Wednesday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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