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College basketball: Illinois beats Gonzaga in battle of unbeatens

Published December 8, 2012 10:52 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Spokane, Wash. • Brandon Paul scored 35 points to lead No. 13 Illinois over No. 10 Gonzaga 85-74 on Saturday in a matchup of unbeaten teams.

Tracy Abrams added 14 points for Illinois (10-0) and new coach John Groce is off to the best debut for an Illinois coach in the team's modern history.

Kelly Olynyk scored 16 points to lead Gonzaga (9-1).

Myke Henry's basket gave Illinois its first lead of the game at 44-43 in the opening seconds of the second half, and the Illini pushed that to 54-49 by making all five of their field goals to open the half.

Henry's 3-pointer gave Illinois a 59-51 lead. Two baskets by Przemek Karnowski cut Illinois' lead to 61-58.

But shooting woes hurt Gonzaga in the second half, and D.J. Richardson's 3-pointer gave the Illini a 68-59 lead.

Gonzaga was held without a field goal for 6 minutes, then got consecutive baskets from Olynyk and Gary Bell Jr. to close within 68-64.

Paul replied with two baskets for a 73-64 Illini lead with 5:45 left.

Gonzaga rallied, and Kevin Pangos' free throw cut Illinois' lead to 75-71 with 2:51 left.

But Paul completed a 3-point play to give Illinois a 78-71 lead with 2:29 left. Tracy Abrams hit two more free throws for an 80-71 Illini lead, and Gonzaga started taking desperation shots.

In the first half, Gonzaga made six of its first seven shots to jump to a 14-6 lead. Paul's free throw cut Gonzaga's lead to 20-16, but David Stockton replied with a 3-pointer for the Bulldogs, and they went on to build a 31-20 lead. Illinois fought back with a 12-2 run, and Paul's free throws tied the score at 35.

The score was tied at 41 at halftime, and Paul led all players with 18 points in the half for the Illini.

Illinois, which leads the NCAA with an average of 10.8 3-pointers per game, made 11 of 26 from long range.

No. 14 Minnesota 71, USC 57 •In Los Angeles, Andre Hollins scored 14 points, and Minnesota defeated Southern California, giving coach Tubby Smith his 500th career victory.

Rodney Williams added 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Trevor Mbakwe had 12 points for the Gophers (10-1), who led all the way in winning their sixth in a row on their first trip to play USC in Los Angeles since Dec. 29, 1980.

Smith became the 19th active Division I coach to reach that win mark.

Reserve Omar Oraby scored all of his 15 points in the second half to lead USC (3-6). —

Saturday's Top 25 scores

• No. 1 Indiana 100,Central Connecticut State 69

• No. 2 Duke 90, Temple 67

• No. 3 Michigan 80,Arkansas 67

• No. 4 Syracuse 108,Monmouth 56

• No. 5 Louisville 99,UMKC 47

• No. 7 Ohio State 89,Long Beach State 55

• No. 8 Arizona 66, Clemson 54

• No. 9 Kansas 90, Colorado 54

• No. 13 Illinois 85,No. 10 Gonzaga 74

• No. 11 Cincinnati 92,Maryland-Eastern Shore 60

• No. 12 Missouri 68,Tennessee State 38

• No. 14 Minnesota 71,Southern Cal 57

• No. 15 Georgetown 46,Towson 40

• No. 18 New Mexico 65,Valparaiso 52

• No. 19 Michigan State 73, Loyola of Chicago 61

• No. 20 North Carolina 78, East Tennessee State 55

• No. 22 Notre Dame 84, Brown 57

• No. 23 Oklahoma State 62, Missouri State 42

• No. 24 Wichita State 80, Northern Colorado 54

• No. 25. N.C. State 80, Cleveland State 63






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