CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Anthony Adger scored a career-high 27 points to lead Florida Atlantic to a 73-71 upset win over Illinois in overtime on Saturday.
Madiaw Niang added 12 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds for his first career double-double for Florida Atlantic (9-4).
Ayo Dosunmu led Illinois (4-9) with 21 points and Aaron Jordan scored 20.
The Owls were 25 of 57 from the field (44 percent), compared to a 24-of-76 effort (32 percent) for Illinois.
The Illini missed nineteen layups in the game, twelve coming in the second half.
Dosunmu hit a long 3-pointer from the right wing in the final seconds of regulation to tie the game at 63 and send it to overtime. Trent Frazier, the Illini’s leading scorer averaging 16.5 points per game coming into Saturday’s matchup, had a chance to win it in the waning seconds but missed two free throws with his team up 71-70.
Dosunmu missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer that bounced off the rim.
Illinois led 26-21 at the half after a slow start for both teams.
THE BIG PICTURE
Saturday was the first matchup between the two teams, and a must-win for sputtering Illinois, which plays No. 23 Indiana later this week. Instead, it turned into a major showcase for Florida Atlantic, which also won a hard-fought road game against UCF earlier this season.
Things won’t get easier for Illinois with a tough slate of Big Ten games in January coming up against Indiana, Northwestern, No. 2 Michigan, Minnesota, No. 24 Iowa and No. 25 Wisconsin.
Florida Atlantic: The Owls travel to the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday.
Illinois: The Illini play at No. 23 Indiana on Thursday.