Rayvonte Rice scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half as the visiting Fighting Illini rallied to earn a win in the first round of the NIT. Rice shot 11-of-14 from the field and had eight rebounds while Malcolm Hill notched 10 points and eight boards for Illinois (20-14), which will visit Clemson in the second round. Joseph Bertrand added nine points for the Fighting Illini. D.J. Irving scored 17 points and made four 3-pointers for the Terriers (24-11), who led for most of the game. Maurice Watson, Jr. had seven points and 12 assists while Dom Morris and John Papale contributed 10 points apiece for Boston University. The Fighting Illini made several runs during the second half, but the Terriers almost always had an answer. Illinois got to within four early in the second half, but soon it was an 11-point game as Irving made two 3-pointers and Papale had a pair of buckets. Illinois finally got a lead when Rice hit two free throws with 1:27 to go and the margin grew to three points on a layup by Rice inside the final minute before the Terriers missed what would have been a game-tying bucket. The Terriers didn't score until nearly four minutes had elapsed in the first half, but quickly took control by making 7-of-15 from 3-point range and went into the intermission with a 33-24 lead. GAME NOTEBOOK: The 33 first-half points nearly matched the 36 total points the Terriers scored in the Patriot League final last week. ... The Fighting Illini held a 35-23 edge in rebounding. ... The teams combined to go 19-of-42 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Illinois 66, Boston U 62
ProSportsDaily | Mar 20