Illinois edges Grand Canyon behind Black's double-double
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Leron Black scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Illinois past Grand Canyon University 62-58 on Saturday.
Da’Monte Williams only scored 3 points for the Illini, but he made them count. With Illinois up by one with 17 seconds left, Williams sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to seal the victory for the Illini.
Trent Frazier scored 14 points and Michael Finke added 9 for Illinois (10-5).
Grand Canyon (10-5) was led by Keonta Vernon’s 14 points, while Alessandro Lever scored 13 and Oscar Frayer added 10 points.
The Antelopes led 32-27 at the half. The lead changed hands five times in the first half.
Illinois went 25-57 from the field (44 percent), while Grand Canyon went 23-64 (36 percent). The Illini out-rebounded the Antelopes 44-33.
Grand Canyon: One of the better defensive teams in the nation, the Antelopes forced 20 Illinois turnovers that netted 18 points.
Illinois: The deeper Illini bench proved too much for Grand Canyon, outscoring the Antelopes 25-15.
Grand Canyon travels to Seattle University on January 6 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Illinois, which is 0-2 in the Big Ten, returns to conference play at Minnesota, Jan. 3.