Miami holds off furious Illinois comeback to win 81-79
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ Chris Lykes scored 28 points and Miami held off a furious second-half comeback to beat Illinois 81-79 on Monday.
Illinois (6-2) trailed 50-31 at the half _ at one point down by 27 points _ and was outplayed at every level by Miami (5-3) before making adjustments and outscoring the Hurricanes 48-31 in the second half.
Dejan Vasiljevic scored 20 points, Kameron McGusty 13 and Sam Waardenburg 12 for Miami.
Kofi Cockburn scored 23 points to lead Illinois. Trent Frazier scored 14, Ayo Dosunmu had 12 and Trent Frazier added 11 points for the Illini.
The Hurricanes put together a series of runs in the first half and jumped out to a 25-9 lead with 12 minutes left before the break. Illinois answered late in the half with a 7-0 run that featured a three-pointer from Alan Griffin, s layup by Dosunmu and a jumper by Da’Monte Williams.
After clawing its way back, Illinois had a chance to win it at the buzzer. Feliz hit a layup with less than a minute to play to pull the Illini to within one point, 80-79. With two seconds left and a chance to win the game, Dosunmu drove to the basket and was called for an offensive foul. That sent Lykes to the line, where he sank one free throw to ice the game.
Miami: The Hurricanes looked unbeatable in the first half and seemed fatigued as the game progressed. But overall, they got the job done and handed coach Jim Larranaga 650th career win in his 36th season.
Illinois: The Illini have been slow starters all season and this time, it hurt them badly this time against a very good Miami team. Illinois needs to find a way to play two consistently good halve before Big Ten Conference play starts.
Miami: Hosts Alabama A&M on Dec. 14.
Illinois: Things get tougher when Illinois travels to (hash)5 Maryland for an early Big Ten Conference game on Saturday.