Illinois spoils No. 21 Northwestern's debut as ranked team
Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half Thursday night as Illinois rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to stop No. 21 Northwestern 66-62 in a Big Ten Conference game in Champaign, Ill.
Shannon drove for a layup with 1:16 left to snap a 61-61 tie, then sealed the outcome by making two foul shots with 2.7 seconds remaining.
Matthew Mayer added 14 points, all in the second half, as the Fighting Illini (19-9, 10-7) avenged a January loss to the Wildcats and stayed alive for a double-bye in next month's conference tournament.
Boo Buie starred in defeat for Northwestern (20-8, 11-6) with a game-high 35 points, canning 6 of 11 from the 3-point line. Brooks Barnhizer scored 11.
Playing their first game as a ranked team, the Wildcats led 54-39 after Barnhizer hit a jumper with 10:21 left in the game, but were outscored 27-8 the rest of the way.
Northwestern controlled most of the first half behind Buie, 3-point shooting and great defense. Buie scored eight points in the first 5:08 as the Wildcats established a 14-6 lead.
Illinois rattled off eight straight points to tie the game on a Sencire Harris jumper at the 11:33 mark, but Northwestern dominated the hall's remainder as Buie made one shot after another.
Buie canned consecutive 3-pointers in a 10-1 run that made it 24-15, then closed the half with a personal 8-0 spurt over the final 3:16. His 3-pointer with 52 seconds left gave the Wildcats a 37-19 halftime lead.
--Field Level Media
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