Illini Fall In OT, College Basketball Roundup


Published on December 31 2018 6:14 am
Last Updated on December 31 2018 6:14 am

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Freshman Ayo Dosunmu scored 21 points and senior Aaron Jordan 20 as Illinois closed the non-conference season with a 73-71 overtime loss to Florida Atlantic Saturday at State Farm Center.

The Illini trailed by nine with 5:56 left and by six with under a minute remaining before mounting a furious rally. Trent Frazier scored five quick points to slice into the deficit and then Dosunmu tied the game with a three with 3.1 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Illinois (4-9) led by one late in OT, but Frazier missed two free throws with 28.8 left and then FAU's Anthony Adger followed with an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Owls a 73-71 lead with 20 seconds left. The Illini had two chances to win in the final seconds, but threes by Da'Monte Williams and Dosunmu were off the mark as time expired.

The Owls were 25 of 57 from the field (44 percent), compared to a 24-of-76 effort (32 percent) for Illinois.

The Illini missed nineteen layups in the game, twelve coming in the second half.

Adger scored a career-high 27 points to lead Florida Atlantic (9-4). Madiaw Niang added 12 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds for his first career double-double for the Owls.

Illinois led 26-21 at the half after a slow start for both teams.

UP NEXT: The Illini resume Big Ten play with back-to-back road games at No. 23 Indiana on Thursday, Jan. 3, and then at Northwestern on Sunday, Jan. 6.


Team Notes

 • Saturday's game marked the first-ever meeting between Illinois and Florida Atlantic.

• Saturday's 73-71 loss Florida Atlantic marks Illinois' first overtime game this season and the first since a 104-97 overtime loss to Iowa on January 11, 2018.

• Illinois held Florida Atlantic scoreless for the last 6:18 of the first half, going on a 7-0 run in that span to take a five-point lead into the second half. In all, the Illini held the Owls without a field goal for 7:41 between the first and second halves. • Illinois knocked down nine three-pointers in Saturday's game, marking the eighth game this season that the Orange and Blue have netted nine or more from distance.

Individual Notes

• Freshman G Ayo Dosunmu knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 63 with 3.1 seconds on the clock and send the contest into overtime.

• Dosunmu finished with 21 points to mark the seventh double-figure scoring game of his career and the second scoring 20 points or more.

• Dosunmu knocked down four three-pointers (4-11), setting a new career high for three-point field goals made. His previous best was three, which he originally set against Georgetown (Nov. 13) and matched against Xavier (Nov. 21).

• Dosunmu and Giorgi Bezhanishvili combined for 17 of Illinois' 26 first-half points. Dosunmu led all scorers with 12 points before the break.

• Senior G Aaron Jordan has now made a three-pointer in 11-straight games and in 12 of 13 on the season. He finished Saturday's game 3-for-8 from distance.

• Jordan was among Illinois scoring leaders with 20 points on the day. The performance marks his sixth game in double-figures this season and his second consecutive game registering 10 or more points. He has scored 20 or more points in two games this year and four times in his career.

• Freshman G Alan Griffin grabbed six rebounds to set a new career-best. His previous high was set at four against Notre Dame (Nov. 27).

• Sophomore G Trent Frazier nabbed five steals on Saturday to match his career-best and mark the fourth time this season he has grabbed three or more steals. He is averaging 1.9 steals per game this season.

• Junior G Andres Feliz also registered three steals on the day to match his career high, which he originally set against Georgetown (Nov. 13).

• Fraizer and Feliz combined for eight of Illinois' nine steals on the day. The performance marks the second time this season that two Illini have registered three or more steals each in the same contest (Georgetown, Nov. 13).

EIU 81, North  Alabama 70

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Freshman Cam Burrell had a double-double off the bench as Eastern Illinois won its final non-conference game of the season, 81-70, on Sunday afternoon over North Alabama at Lantz Arena.

EIU improved to 7-6 and opens Ohio Valley Conference play on Thursday night hosting UT Martin.  UNA fell to 3-12 on the season.

The two teams played a balanced first half with six ties and eight lead changes before EIU went to the locker room with a 38-35 lead on a Shareef Smith 3-pointer.  Smith scored in double figures for the third straight game finishing with 20 points and six assists.

EIU shot 50 percent from the field in the first half while going 1-of-2 from the free throw line.  In the second half the Panthers were able to live at the line going 23-of-30 including scoring their final seven points from the charity stripe.

Mack Smith was 9-of-10 at the free throw line finishing with a game high 21 points.  Smith was 4-of-6 on 3-pointers including one at the 8:40 mark that put EIU up 58-48.

Both teams traded baskets after the Smith 3-pointer before a dunk by Burrell pushed the lead back to ten with 6:47 left to play.  Burrell had 11 points and ten rebounds.

The Lions would trim the lead to seven points with just over four minutes remaining on a three point play by Tavon King.   EIU would push the lead to 14  points with 1:56 to play before back-to-back 3-pointers by Jamari Blackmon and Kendarius Smith.  UNA finished 10-of-30 from 3-point range in the game.

EIU closed out the win at the foul line making seven of their final eight attempts.  Ben Harvey was the fourth EIU player in double figures finishing with 13 points.

Blackmon was the Lions top scorer with 19 points.  Christian Agnew added 16.

EIU Women 104, Eureka 48

Five Eastern Illinois women's basketball players scored double-figures for the Panthers in their non-conference finale. The Panthers improve to 6-5 on the year with a 104-48 win over Eureka College Sunday night. Karle Pace scored a game-high 14 points.

The Panthers opened the game on a 14-0 run over the Red Devils and held on to the lead for the remainder of the game. EIU scored at least 20 points in each quarter finishing the game shooting 51.3 percent from the field. EIU found success from three-point range shooting 42.9 percent connecting on a season-high 12 three pointers falling just two shy of the single-game record set back in the 2016 season.

EIU dominated the Paint 50-16 and scored 40 points on Eureka's 23 turnovers. The Panthers also held a 55-29 advantage on the boards. Grace McRae finished with a game-leading 10 boards.

Abby Wahl notched career-highs tonight with 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while Jalisha Smith recorded season-highs of 10 points and eight boards. Halle Stull was the third player off the bench in double-figures with a season-high 10 points. Grace Lennox was 3-for-4 from three-point range and scored 11 points for the Panthers. She also recorded four rebounds and four assists.Taylor Steele and Kira Arthofer each has five assists to lead the game.

Samantha Sarnes was the only Eureka player to record double-figures. She scored 11 points off the bench for the Red Devils. Olivia Falls fell short of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

The Panthers will open conference play this week with a pair of home men's and women's doubleheaders. EIU will play UT Martin on Thursday Jan. 3 at 5:15 pm and SIUE on Saturday Jan. 5 at 1 pm.

SIUE 79, Missouri S&T 66

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A torrid first-half surge carried the SIUE men's basketball team to a 79-66 win over Missouri S&T on Sunday at the Vadalabene Center.

The Cougars outscored the Miners 22-0 during an eight-minute stretch in the first half to build a 17-point lead and never look back. SIUE led 41-27 at half in improving to 4-8 and winning its second successive game. The Cougars are 3-3 at home. Missouri S&T, a member of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference, is 2-7.

"That big run was because of our defense," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "We had 14 or 15 stops in a row and that made a big difference. Good defense allows you to get your transition game going."

The Cougars had a smooth enough transition game to extend their lead to as many as 22 points in the second half. They maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Missouri S&T sliced SIUE's advantage to 54-44 with 12:20 remaining, but Daniel Kinchen of the Cougars hit a 3-point shot and following a Miners' basket, he tacked on a 3-point play to make it 60-46.

"We had a lot of guys contribute and we had good balance," Harris said. "Our depth is good and so is our chemistry. Everybody is playing hard and working together."

Freshman Cameron Williams led a balanced attack with 16 points. The 6-foot, 2-inch freshman from St. Louis scored half of his points during that 22-0 flurry.

"Cameron's a very good player and he plays hard," Harris said. "I think his defensive play got him going. He has nicknamed himself 'Motor' for the way he plays."

Williams, who scored a season-high 22 points against Valparaiso on Nov. 22, added: "It was one of my better games. I was attacking the rim on offense. And our defense was getting a lot of stops."

Teammates Brandon Jackson and Tyresse Williford pitched in 13 points apiece and had six rebounds each. Williford also accumulated six assists. Christian Ellis collected 11 points and five rebounds. Ellis logged seven points during that first-half SIUE blitz.

"Christian is playing well and he's starting to turn the corner," Harris said. "He did some good things today."

Harris had no quarrel with the Cougars' shooting. They made 30 of 56 shots, or 54 percent. SIUE hit on 5 of 14 shots from 3-point land and sank 14 of 19 free throws. SIUE outrebounded Missouri S&T 37-34 and accounted for 16 assists.

"Sometimes these games right after Christmas can be hard to play," Harris said. "But we started the game with a good mindset and our defensive intensity was good."

Dulan Scott and Yahmir Muhammad both scored 14 points for the Miners, who made 25 of 67 shots. They hit on 6 of 20 treys and were 10 of 12 from the foul line.

Harris knows it will get tougher the rest of the way. The Cougars start their 18-game Ohio Valley Conference schedule on Thursday. SIUE welcomes Southeast Missouri at 7:30. The Cougars then play at Eastern Illinois in Charleston at 3 p.m. Saturday.

"Everybody is 0-0 in the OVC and I think the league is going to be as good as it has been in years," Harris said. "It seems like everybody has a lot of experienced players coming back."

He pointed out, "SEMO plays hard, so we know that to get into the top half of the league, you have to take care of business on your home court and try to steal some wins on the road."