Hawkins Gets Triple-Double In Illini Victory


Published on November 30 2022 6:32 am
Last Updated on November 30 2022 6:33 am

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Coleman Hawkins registered the first Illinois triple-double in two seasons, recording 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Fighting Illini's 73-44 win over Syracuse at State Farm Center on Tuesday night.

Hawkins is the fourth Illini in program history to record a triple-double, while the win marked head coach Brad Underwood's 100th victory with the Orange and Blue.

Terrence Shannon Jr. led all scorers with 17 points, and RJ Melendez and Jayden Epps also finished in double figures in the 29-point win.

Illinois outscored the Orange, 43-21, in the second half, holding the visitors to 23.2 percent from the field during the final 20 points of play. 

Illinois opened the game with a 7-1 run, which included four points from Hawkins, and held Syracuse without a field goal for the first four minutes of the contest.

After neither team could pull away midway through the first half, three Shannon 3-pointers pushed the Illinois advantage to six points.

The Illini held the Orange without a field goal for nearly five minutes to close the frame, taking a 30-23 lead into halftime. Shannon led all scorers with nine points at the break, while Illinois registered an assist on 10 of its 12 first-half field goals.

Melendez and Hawkins both knocked down 3-pointers early in the second half to give Illinois a double-digit lead with 12 minutes to play.

Illinois took control later in the frame, using a 12-0 run over a three-minute stretch to jump out to a 23-point advantage with five minutes to play. Melendez scored seven points during that run, while the Illini converted five-straight shots to take their largest lead of the night.

Hawkins achieved his triple-double late in the game, celebrating his 10th assist with a fist pump and his 10th rebound with a big grin.

The Illini advance to 6-1 with the win ahead of their Big Ten opener against Maryland on Friday night.