Home College BasketBall # 17 Illinois Rallies In OT To Beat # 2 Texas 85-78

# 17 Illinois Rallies In OT To Beat # 2 Texas 85-78

Courtesy Of Illinois Athletic Communications

Madison Square Garden — Terrence Shannon Jr. poured in 12 of his 16 points in overtime, including a deep 3-pointer with 3:34 remaining, and No. 17 Illinois (7-2) rallied past #2 ranked Texas (6-1), 85-78 on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic in front of an announced crowd of 17, 828.

Shannon was recruited to Texas Tech and played his first two years in Lubbock for Texas head coach Chris Beard.

This game marks UT’s first 6-0 start since the 2014-15 season, opened that year with seven straight wins. But the Illini played spoiler tonight.

Illinois is 11-5 in their last 16 games versus top-10 teams and they are combined 7-40 all-time against teams ranked in the top 2 of the AP Poll.

Offensively was the problem for the Longhorns throughout the night, with Texas shooting just 42 percent from the hardwood, and 31.8% from downtown.

In the first half, Matthew Mayer was on fire, he led the Illini with 15 points and gave his team a slim three point advantage going into the break 37-34.

“They were all under control,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “They were all poised.

“Those were plays that weren’t just reckless. Those were plays that were poised, patient and he stopped to make the right play. Just really good basketball plays.”

Late in the second half, fatigue began to set in for the Longhorns, and the defense began to give up space, with the Illini taking advantage and making the push down the stretch and not committing any turnovers during the last nine and a half minutes of regulation or in overtime.

Shannon opened overtime with a jumper after Carr was called for traveling and then hit an long trey from the right wing over Brock Cunningham for a 73-70 lead.

Then Shannon made a reverse layup and finished a three-point play to make it 77-70 with 2:16 left. Carr hit two free throws to get the Horns within one point with 1:28 remaining.

Courtesy Of Illinois Athletic Communications

Jayden Epps made a layup, RJ Melendez sank two free throws to put Illinois ahead by five, and Shannon made two free throws with 27.7 seconds left.

Timmy Allen was the man on the offensive end for the Horns, scoring 21 points with eight assists and seven boards.

And after a back-and-forth affair, the Longhorns finally looked vulnerable, dropping their first game of the season in an 85-78 overtime loss.

Epps scored 11 points, including the final five points of regulation — a deep 3-pointer with 35 seconds left and two tying free throws with 8 ticks on the clock. Epps then blocked Marcus Carr’s jumper in the lane just before the buzzer to force overtime.

And going back-and-forth, the Longhorns finally looked gassed, dropping their first game of the season in an 85-78 overtime loss.

Guard Tyrese Hunter also finished in double figures, scoring 10 points of his own on 4 of 11 shooting.

“I was telling my teammates way to keep us in it, they were just great,” Shannon said. “I just kept telling them, like praising them, ‘Man, good job, you’re keeping us in it, you’re all playing great. I got you and I’m going to come through for you eventually,’ and that’s what I kept telling them in overtime.”


Illinois: The Illini continued to struggle with turnovers, committing 17. But only two of them came in the final 10-plus minutes of regulation or overtime. Illinois’ 15th turnover was an offensive foul by Mayer, which sent him to the bench with four fouls with 10:42 remaining. Several of the turnovers were offensive fouls, something Illinois had practiced because the Longhorns take a lot of charges.

Texas: The Longhorns had little offense beyond Allen and Hunter. While the two combined 13 of 29, the rest of the team missed 24 of 40 shots.


Illinois hosts Penn State in its second Big Ten game on Saturday.

Texas hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Jimmy Blacklock Classic on Saturday.

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