Illinois Crushes Brown With 58 Points In The Second Half
It looked good for Brown after the first 20 minutes with a 35-31 lead. However, games are played for 40 minutes and that proved to be more than enough time for Illinois to win 89-68 on Monday night.
The first half was dominated by back-and-forth between the two teams. The Illini led by 7 with 4:57 left in the first half, but back-to-back buckets by Cedric Kuakumensah made it 28-25. Over the final 4:57, Illinois was held to 3 points with zero field goals made. Meanwhile, Brown took a 35-31 lead at the break in a surprising turn of events.
Steven Spieth had 11 first half points and 6 rebounds for the Bears. Rafael Maia put up 9 points on 4 of 4 shooting as the Bears went 14 of 27 from the field (51.9%). The Illini were led by Rayvonte Rice in the first half with 9 points and 6 rebounds. The Illini shot 11 of 36 from the field (30.6%) and hit 4 of 15 three pointers (26.7%). The Illini were also out-rebounded in the first half 20-19.
Brown took a 37-31 lead just 24 seconds into the second half, but that 6 point lead evaporated quickly. With 15:24 left in the game, the Illini took a 48-39 lead with Aaron Crosby and Rayvonte Rice combining for the first 17 points of the second half. Brown kept the deficit to single digits until the 11 minute mark. After that, it was all Illinois pouring it on and extending their lead to as much as 24 points. The final score was 89-68.
In that second half, Spieth once again led the Browns in scoring with 10 points. Kyle Haber had 6 points off the bench while Leland King chipped in 5 points. The Bears saw their field goal percentage drop to 32.3 in the second half on 10 of 31 shooting. They hit 3 of 9 three pointers (33.3%) and were 10 of 15 from the three point range (66.7%). The Illini were led by Aaron Crosby’s 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting. Malcolm Hill had 9 points, Leron Black had 8 points, and Kendrick Nunn scored 7 points. Illinois shot 73.1% from the field in the second half (19 of 26) and hit 4 of 6 three pointers (66.7%). They went 16 of 19 on free throws (84.2%) and won the battle on the glass 16-11.
For the game, Brown was led by Spieth’s 21 points and 7 rebounds. Rafael Maia scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds while Cedric Kuakumensah had 7 points and 7 rebounds and Leland King also had 7 points with 6 rebounds. The Bears shot 24 of 58 from the field for the game (41.4%) and were 5 of 17 on three pointers (29.4%). They also went 15 of 22 on free throws (68.2%), committed 13 turnovers, and were out-rebounded by a slim margin of 36-33.
Illinois had 5 players end up in double figures. Aaron Crosby scored 18 points, Rayvonte Rice scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Kendrick Nunn scored 12 points, Malcolm Hill had 11 points, and Leron Black had 10 points. Nnanna Egwu added 9 points and 8 rebounds as well. For the game, Illinois went 30 of 62 from the field (48.4%) and 8 of 21 from beyond the arc (38.1%). They hit 21 of 28 free throws (75%) and committed only 7 turnovers.
Brown (1-4) faces Austin Peay (1-4) on Thursday in Las Vegas. Illinois (4-0) faces Indiana State (3-1) on Thursday as well.