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Terrence Shannon Jr. has 23 points, 10 rebounds, No. 24 Illinois beats Rutgers 76-58

Illinois guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) drives to the basket against Rutgers guard Jamichael Davis (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Piscataway, N.J., Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Terrence Shannon Jr. had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 24 Illinois beat Rutgers 76-58 in the Big Ten opener for both schools.

Marcus Domask added 15 points for the Illini (6-1), who won at Rutgers for the first time since Feb. 25, 2018.
Austin Williams and Aundre Hyatt scored nine points apiece for the Scarlet Knights (5-2), whose five-game winning streak ended.

The game featured the top two defenses in the Big Ten, with Rutgers holding opponents to 55.5 points and Illinois allowing 58.7. Rutgers shot 33.3% from the field (20 of 60).

“We try to build our program on toughness and defense,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “Tonight we did that.”

Illinois went on a 17-2 spurt midway through the second half to take its largest lead at 67-44. Shannon made three 3s during the run.

“I think (Shannon) is the best two-way player in the country,” Underwood said.

The Illini opened the game on a 14-2 run, with Quincy Guerrier contributing seven points, but Rutgers closed within 41-36 at halftime thanks to an 18-9 run over the final 7:06.

Illinois out-rebounded Rutgers 55-27.

“We were not on point to beat a ranked team,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. “We didn’t do what we needed to do on the backboards. They manhandled us on the glass.”

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: Coleman Hawkins returned to the starting lineup for the Illini after missing the last three games with a knee injury. The senior forward had six points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. His progress will be important in upcoming games against No. 13 Florida Atlantic and No. 10 Tennessee.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights hope to get defensive specialist Mawot Mag back soon. The senior forward, who suffered a torn ACL last season, has dressed for the last few games but has yet to play.

UP NEXT

Illinois: Faces No. 13 Florida Atlantic in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
Rutgers: At Wake Forest on Wednesday.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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