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Illinois 85, Morehead State 69

Illinois 85, Morehead State 69

ASSOCIATED PRESS

OMAHA, Neb. - Marcus Domask posted the NCAA Tournament's first triple-double since 2019 and Terrence Shannon scored 26 points, helping No. 3 seed Illinois pull away from No. 14 Morehead State for an 85-69 first-round win.

Domask had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his first career triple-double. It was the first triple-double in the NCAA tourney since Ja Morant accomplished the feat.

Dain Dainja scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half as the Illini shook off the pesky Eagles. Dainja went 9 for 9 from the field and matched his career high with eight rebounds.

Riley Minix led the Eagles with 27 points, giving him at least 20 in 13 of his last 14 games. Jordan Lathon added 23 points.

Ohio Valley Conference champion Morehead State (26-9) dictated the action early. Minix, Kalil Thomas and Lathan made three straight 3s to get the Eagles out to a 9-0 lead before two minutes were gone.

Then Shannon picked up where he left off in the Big Ten Tournament, when he averaged 34 points while leading the Illini to the title.

Shannon, who had 19 points in the first half, took an outlet pass that was nearly intercepted by Drew Thelwell and went unimpeded to the basket for a big dunk. Then he hit a 3 from the wing, and a few minutes later he snaked to the basket for a layup.

It was Dainja's turn to star in the second half. The 6-foot-9, 255-pounder caused major problems for whoever the Eagles put on him. He scored 13 of the Illini’s first 17 points to break open the game.

Illinois athletics press release

March 21, 2024





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