Illini Men Outlast Rutgers
It took three overtimes, but the Illinois men's basketball team survived Rutgers for a Big Ten road win, 110-101.
Eight players scored in double figures for the two teams, and Illinois topped the 100-point mark for the first time since a home win against Austin Peay last season.
The play of the game belonged to Rutgers freshman point guard Corey Sanders, who rebounded his own miss, ran to the three point line, and launched a game-tying three-pointer as the clock expired on the first overtime.
Junior forward Malcolm Hill led Illinois with 32 points and 14 rebounds. Hill made 17 out of 20 free throws in the game, including 10-10 in the final overtime period. He says he was proud of how his team responded to Sanders' big shot.
"I'm pretty sure everybody in the gym was interested to see how we were gonna respond to that," Hill says. "That killed us."
Freshman Jalen Coleman-Lands added 26 points for the Illini. He says playing three overtimes is great experience for the future.
"You find out a lot about your team and yourself being put in those situations," Coleman-Lands says, "and we're capable of doing things to get wins."
Junior center Maverick Morgan scored a career-high 20 points for Illinois, and junior guard Kendrick Nunn added 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Sanders led Rutgers with 39 points, twelve assists, and eight rebounds.
Illini grad student Khalid Lewis, a native of Trenton, New Jersey, had 36 family and friends in attendance. He finished with nine points, eight assists and a single turnover.