National Basketball Association
Illinois 122, North Carolina A&T 60
When: 2:00 PM ET, Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Where: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois
# Brian McNutt, # Brad Clauss, # Tariq Lucas
Junior All-America candidate Ayo Dosunmu produced a career-high 28 points as No. 8 Illinois breezed to a 122-60 victory over North Carolina A&T on Wednesday afternoon in both teams' season opener.
Shooting guard Adam Miller, the Big Ten's top-ranked recruit, set the Illinois record for most points in a freshman debut as the lefty drilled 6 of 8 3-point attempts on his way to 28 points. Sophomore 7-footer Kofi Cockburn added 18 points and 10 rebounds while Illinois set the single-game team record with 17 3-pointers. Dosunmu added 10 rebounds and five assists.
Junior guard Blake Harris paced North Carolina A&T with 12 points. MEAC preseason player of the year Kameron Langley, the senior point guard who led the nation last year with 8.0 assists per game, was limited to 8 points and 4 assists in 32 minutes.
Illinois reeled off 24 points in a row to remove the suspense early. The Illini harassed the Aggies into 17 straight missed shots to build a 32-5 lead 12 minutes into the first game of the Illinois multi-team event at Champaign, Ill. Chicago State and Ohio University make up the rest of the four-team field.
Illinois shot just 31 percent on 3-pointers last season -- last in the Big Ten -- so North Carolina A&T started in a zone designed to clamp down on Cockburn and force shots from the perimeter.
The Illini foiled that strategy by hitting 11 of 17 3-pointers during the first half.
Miller set up in the corner and sank two 3-pointers in the opening four minutes to trigger the onslaught. Dosunmu drilled three, senior swingman Da'Monte Williams hit two and Holy Cross transfer Jacob Grandison (10 points, 8 rebounds) flushed his first 3-point try in an Illinois uniform before Miller added three more 3s in the final three minutes of the half.
Just in case the Aggies had any design on a second-half rally, Dosunmu reeled off 10 points in 56 seconds -- swishing a pair of high-arching 3-pointers before he added a pair of driving layups -- to give Illinois a 75-27 lead with 16:48 to go.
The Illini cracked the 100-point barrier on a Cockburn free throw with 9:24 to go but wound up five points shy of the single-game scoring record as head coach Brad Underwood substituted liberally the rest of the way.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
|North Carolina A&T
Blake Harris 12
Ayo Dosunmu 28
Blake Harris 4
Da'Monte Williams 7
Fred Cleveland Jr. 4
Kofi Cockburn 10
Fred Cleveland Jr. 3
||Free Throws Made
Kofi Cockburn 6
Blake Harris 2
Da'Monte Williams 2
Giorgi Bezhanishvili 1
Team Stats Summary
|North Carolina A&T