Illini Fight Off UNLV Rebels 73-62
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) – Mike Davis turned in a game-high 22 points with nine rebounds and five assists as Illinois dispatched UNLV, 73-62, in a Southwest Region second-round meeting.
Demetri McCamey totaled 17 points and seven assists for the ninth-seeded Illini (20-13), who have the unenviable task of trying to knock off top-seeded Kansas on Sunday.
Oscar Bellfield scored 14 and Chace Stanback had 13 points for the eighth- seeded Runnin’ Rebels (24-9), who ended their season with two straight losses after winning six in a row.
A 22-4 burst from Illinois, begun in the opening minutes, gave it control of the contest.
Down 8-7, Bill Cole hit a jumper to give the Illini the lead by one. Brandon Paul and Davis followed with buckets to open up a 14-8 lead, and after Tre’Von Willis hit two from the line and Carlos Lopez converted a layup, McCamey hit two straight field goals for an 18-12 advantage.
D.J. Richardson continued the run on a short-range jumper ahead of a layup and slam from Davis to make it 24-12 with 9:35 to go before intermission. Crandall Head scored, then McCamey sank a trey putting Illinois ahead 29-12.
Illinois was ahead by a comfortable 46-24 margin at halftime thanks to another McCamey bucket from beyond the arc.
It was 57-32 for the Illini over four minutes into the second half on McCamey’s salvo from long distance, and UNLV only shrunk its deficit below 16 points in the final two minutes.
Illinois connected on 63 percent from the field in the first half and finished at 55-percent efficiency over the final 20 minutes…UNLV hit just 27 percent from the floor in the first half…Anthony Marshall totaled 13 points for the Rebels…Richardson had 10 points for the Illini.