Illinois, EIU, SIUE All Drop Cage Contests


Published on January 11 2019 6:42 am
Last Updated on January 11 2019 6:42 am

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Freshman Ayo Dosunmu scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the first half but the Illini came up short against No. 2 Michigan Thursday night at State Farm Center.

Freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 15 points and sophomore Trent Frazier added 13 points and five rebounds for the Fighting Illini.

"I thought we played well defensively," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "That's usually good enough to win, but we had some inconsistencies on offense."

Dosunmu banked in a three in the final second of the first half to send Illinois into the locker room with momentum despite trailing 39-34.

The Fighting Illini closed to within four early in the second half, 42-38, and pulled within five points at 49-44 with 13:30 left on Aaron Jordan's 3-pointer, but it was the closest the Illini could come, thanks to Michigan's offense and smothering defense down the stretch.

Zavier Simpson scored 16 points and Ignas Brazdeikis had 15 to lead the undefeated Wolverines (16-0, 5-0). Charles Matthews added 14 points for Michigan, and Jon Teske had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

UP NEXT: Illinois (4-12, 0-5) has the weekend off before returning to action on Wednesday, Jan. 16, when Minnesota comes to State Farm Center.


• Freshman Ayo Dosunmu finished with 23 points on 10-16 shooting (63%), his fourth-career 20+ point game and third in the last four games. Dosunmu also added seven rebounds and a career-high two blocks.

• Freshman Ayo Dosunmu scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half.

• Freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored in double figures for the seventh time this season, finishing with 15 points (6-11 FG).

• Freshmen Dosunmu and Bezhanishvili combined to score 38 of Illinois' 69 points.

• The quartet of Ayo Dosunmu (19), Kipper Nichols (7), Giorgi Bezhanishvili (6) and Trent Frazier (2) combined to score all 34 first half points for the Illini.  

Jacksonville State 78, EIU 49

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- Jacksonville State uses a 17-0 third quarter run to beat Eastern Illinois women's basketball 78-49 Thursday night. The Panthers fall to 7-7 overall and 1-2 in the OVC, while the Gamecocks improve to 7-7 overall and 2-1 in the OVC.

In the first half, EIU and JSU traded a series of runs to head into halftime tied 29-29. The Panthers went on an 11-0 run early in the first quarter jumping out to a 15-4 lead. The Gamecocks responded closing the quarter on an 18-0 run holding EIU scoreless in the final 5:54 of the first ten minutes.

Taylor Steele led the Panthers on a 9-0 run to open the second quarter scoring seven of the nine points. The teams then traded 5-0 runs with JSU closing the half on a layup from Jayla Walker to tie the game 29-29.

JSU made six three-pointers in the third quarter led by Yamia Johnson who connected on three from the arc in the first five minutes to help JSU to a 17-0 run. Abby Wahl connected from the paint to break the Gamecocks run, but JSU would end the quarter with another 9-0 run. The Gamecocks were 11-of-15 from the field and outscored the Panthers 31-4 taking a 60-33 lead into the final 10 minutes.

The Panthers put up 16 points in the fourth quarter falling 78-49 to the Gamecocks in their second straight OVC loss.

EIU gave up 19 second chance points and allowed JSU to score 23 points off their 21 turnovers.

Steele finished with a game-leading 15 points on 6-of-12 from the field including three three-pointers. Wahl fell short of a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds off the bench.

JuToreyia Willis was 6-of-8 from the field for the game tying Steele's 15 points. Johnson scored all 14 of her points in the second half for the Gamecocks, while Taylor Hawks added 13 points and seven boards. Hawks was 7-of-10 from the free throw line.

EIU will close the road trip with a 5:30 pm tip-off at Tennessee Tech this Saturday Jan. 12.

Tennessee Tech 78, SIUE 69

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – For the second consecutive game and the third time this season, SIUE men's basketball dropped an overtime contest on the road. Tennessee Tech outlasted SIUE 78-69 Thursday night in Ohio Valley Conference action.

Tied at 67 going to overtime, the Cougars (5-9, 1-2 OVC) missed all 10 field goal attempts in the extra time.

"We did some good things," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "But what we didn't do in overtime, which costs us the game, is move the ball. We took a couple of questionable shots early and we broke down a couple of times on defense. For the overtime that was the difference."

Tennessee Tech (6-10, 2-1) was 3 for 3 in the overtime period and knocked down 5 of 8 free throws.

The Cougars forced overtime by erasing a seven-point deficit in the final minute of regulation. David McFarland sank a free throw to cut the lead to 67-61 with 1:00 to play. The Cougars employed full-court pressure and McFarland earned stole the ball and got it to Christian Ellis, who dished to Daniel Kinchen on the right wing for a three to cut the lead to 67-64. Ellis grabbed a rebound after a Tennessee Tech miss and SIUE called a timeout with 18 seconds remaining.

Following the timeout, Jaylen McCoy fed McFarland on the left wing. McFarland buried a three-pointer to tie the score with just 10 seconds to play.

"We executed," Harris said of the Cougars' play down the stretch. "We did some good things. I would have liked to execute better in overtime."

The Cougars forced 19 turnovers and scored 20 points from the takeaways. SIUE committed just eight turnovers, one off their season low.

"We guarded decent and we did a good job turning them over," Harris added. "But we got outscored by 10 on free throws and they outrebounded us by 15."

McFarland led SIUE with 17 points. Kinchen added 14 points and was 4 of 8 from three-point range. Cameron Williams scored 13 points.

Hunter Vick scored 18 points to lead Tennessee Tech. Micaiah Henry turned a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Malik Martin scored 16 points and added nine rebounds.

The loss is the fifth straight for SIUE in the series with Tennessee Tech. The Cougars have never won a road game at TTU.

SIUE continues the road trip with a Saturday afternoon game at Jacksonville State.

"It's a quick turnaround," Harris added. "Jacksonville State is a really good team, especially at home. We'll have our hands full for sure."