Texas Trips Up Illini in OT
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Tristan Thompson scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked five shots, as the Texas Longhorns took down the 13th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini, 90-84, in overtime in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer from Madison Square Garden.
Jordan Hamilton added 25 points and seven rebounds for the Longhorns (3-0), who will play fifth-ranked Pittsburgh in the championship game on Friday. Gary Johnson tallied 16 points and seven boards in the win.
Demetri McCamey finished with 22 points, six assists, and six rebounds for the Fighting Illini (3-1), who will play Maryland in the third-place game after the Terrapins lost to the Panthers, 79-70, earlier Thursday.
D.J. Richardson had 15 points in defeat.
Johnson got the overtime period started with a pair of free throws. Following a Brandon Paul turnover, Hamilton made a layup to give Texas a 79-75 edge.
Richardson missed a jumper for Illinois, leading to Johnson’s layup for an 81-75 margin. Thompson made a jumper after Jereme Richmond was off the mark for the Fighting Illini.
Illinois hung around in overtime and used two Bill Cole three-pointers to cut the gap to 87-84 with 1:06 to play.
Hamilton made 1-of-2 from the foul line to make it a four-point game. Paul then missed a shot from beyond the arc, which led to a free throw from J’Covan Brown for an 89-84 lead.
Illinois missed a trio of three-pointers the rest of the way.
A tight first half resulted in a 45-45 score.
Texas scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 53-45 lead. Illinois ripped off seven straight points moments later to cut the gap to 56-54 on Richardson’s trey with under 12 1/2 minutes to go.
Alexis Wangmene’s jumper gave the Longhorns a 62-56 lead with 10 1/2 minutes remaining. The Fighting Illini responded with a 7-1 spurt to tie the contest at 63 with about eight minutes left.
With the scored tied at 73-73, Cory Joseph made a jumper to give Texas the edge. Following a timeout with 24.6 seconds to go, Richmond made a layup to even the score again.
Joseph and Dogus Balbay missed shots for Texas, and time expired in regulation.
Texas leads the all-time series, 3-2. The last time these teams met up was in 2000, a 72-64 victory for Texas in Austin…Texas shot 44.9 percent from the field, while Illinois made 38.4 percent of its shots.
Texas advances to the next round to play Pitt – Friday night at 6:30pm on 1080 KRLD