Dosunmu, Miller Help No. 8 Illinois Crushed NC A&T, 122-60

Champaign, Ill. – No. 8 ranked Illinois easily put away North Carolina A&T 122-60 on Wednesday in the college basketball season opener for both teams.

With 11:08 to play in the game, the Fighting Illini led by 60 points (94-34).

The 122 points by Illinois today were the most by a Big Ten ball club since Penn State tallied a conference record, 129 points against VMI on December 30, 2006

Ayo Dosunmu led the way with a career-high 28 points, including five 3-pointers, to go with his 10 rebounds and five assists for Illinois, which dominated the boards by a 62-19 margin, including 42 on the defensive side. It a second career double-double for Dosunmu.

Fellow guard and freshman Adam Miller also scored 28 points and connected on six 3-pointers, while center Kofi Cockburn ended with his 13th double-double in 32 games, with 18 points and 10 boards in the victory for the Fighting Illini (1-0).

Illinois made 17 shots from 31 attempts from 3-pointers, which is a program record, and shot 58.7 percent from the floor overall.

“Our shooting is certainly better than a year ago,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “Ayo and Adam are elite shooters from the outside. I think we’re going to be a pretty good shooting team this year.”

For NC A&T, Blake Harris was the only player in double-digit for scoring, finishing with 12 points and had five assists and two steals to go with it. Fred Cleveland ended with nine points and four rebounds for the Aggies (0-1).

Illinois dominated from start to finish and led 58-19 at halftime before outscoring North Carolina A&T 64-41 in the second half.

“That’s a really good team,” admits NC A&T coach Will Jones about Illinois. “I’m happy we got a chance to play today and got through all the protocols. Playing a team like Illinois right off the top lets you know what you have to work on.

“I thought our guys played through the second half and I saw some good things, and we look forward to building on that for tomorrow’s game.”

Despite the crushing defeat, Jones was also happy with his team’s effort.

“Most of the time during the year against a team like Illinois we probably wouldn’t run as we did tonight, but we wanted to play our style,” the coach said.

“I didn’t try to slow the game down. I wanted to try to get better at what we do, and what we do is run. In the second half, once we settled down a little bit, we were able to play in transition and play our style.”

NC A&T (0-1)

Filmore 2-3 0-0 4, Lyons 0-4 3-6 3, Cleveland 2-11 3-4 9, Harris 6-16 0-0 12, Langley 3-8 2-5 8, Maye 1-2 3-6 5, Q.Jones 0-4 0-0 0, T.Jones 2-4 0-0 5, Matthews 1-4 0-0 3, Robinson 2-4 0-0 5, Morrice 3-3 0-0 6, Greer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-64 11-21 60.

Up next

N.C. A&T will plays Ohio in the second round of the three-day tournament on Thursday.

Illinois play hosts to Chicago State in the second round of the tournament at Noon on Thursday. (Live on Big Ten Network).

ILLINOIS (1-0)

Cockburn 6-9 6-8 18, Dosunmu 11-18 1-3 28, Frazier 2-10 0-0 6, Miller 10-12 2-2 28, Williams 2-5 0-0 6, Curbelo 3-4 2-3 8, Grandison 4-5 0-0 10, Bezhanishvili 3-7 1-2 7, Hawkins 1-2 3-4 5, Lieb 1-2 2-2 4, Griffith 0-0 0-0 0, Padilla 0-0 0-0 0, Serven 1-1 0-0 2, Hamlin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 44-75 17-24 122.

Halftime Stats

Illinois 58-19. 3-Point Goals_NC A&T 5-19 (Cleveland 2-4, Robinson 1-1, T.Jones 1-3, Matthews 1-3, Harris 0-1, Lyons 0-3, Q.Jones 0-4), Illinois 17-31 (Miller 6-8, Dosunmu 5-8, Grandison 2-2, Williams 2-4, Frazier 2-7, Curbelo 0-1, Hawkins 0-1). Fouled Out_T.Jones, Frazier. Rebounds_NC A&T 15 (Cleveland 4), Illinois 58 (Cockburn, Dosunmu 10). Assists_NC A&T 8 (Harris, Langley 3), Illinois 31 (Williams 7). Total Fouls_NC A&T 21, Illinois 18.

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