CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Trent Frazier scored 25 points on Saturday to lead Illinois past East Tennessee State 73-55.
Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored 15 points and Kipper Nichols added 14 for Illinois (4-7). Aaron Jordan had a game-high 10 rebounds.
ETSU (8-4) was led by Daivien Williamson’s 19 points. Patrick Good scored 11 points and Jeromy Rodriguez grabbed 7 rebounds for the Buccaneers.
The Illini dominated the first half, going on a 14-0 run at one point and leading 43-18 at the break. Frazier hit five 3-pointers in the half to lead the charge.
Illinois shot 43 percent (26 of 60) from the field while ETSU shot 35 percent (18 of 52). The Illini hit 10 of 25 3-pointers, the Bucs 6 of 22.
The Buccaneers adjusted to the Illini’s swarming man-to-man defense in the second half and slowly started to crawl back into the game, outscoring Illinois 37-30. But 3-pointers by Da’Monte Williams. Frazier and Jordan kept Illinois’ lead intact.
ETSU: The Buccaneers had travel problems. After being forced to fly to Chicago’s Midway Airport Friday night because central Illinois was socked in with heavy fog, their bags didn’t make the trip and the bus broke down on its way to Champaign.
The team didn’t get to their hotel until after 3 a.m. The luggage didn’t arrive until less than two hours before the start of the game, causing the coaching staff to resort to wearing sweatpants and warm-up jackets instead of the usual suit and tie.
Illinois: Starting guard Ayo Dosunmu and backup guard Alan Griffin dressed but didn’t play because they were late to the morning shoot-around, team officials said.
ETSU: Plays Wyoming in the Sun Bowl Classic on Friday.