Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

March Madness

#4 Illinois rallies for one-point win over #13 Chattanooga

#4 Illinois rallies for one-point win over #13 Chattanooga

Alfonso Plummer sank two free throws with 12 seconds left Friday night as fourth-seeded Illinois escaped 13th-seeded Chattanooga’s upset bid 54-53 in a first-round NCAA Tournament South Region game in Pittsburgh.

The Mocs (27-8) had two chances to win on their final possession, but leading scorer Malachi Smith had his first shot blocked by Coleman Hawkins and then missed a 17-footer as time expired.

Kofi Cockburn scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Fighting Illini (23-9), who will face either fifth-seeded Houston or 12th-seeded UAB in the second round on Sunday. Plummer finished with 15 points and Hawkins added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Smith scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds for Chattanooga, but he made only 4 of 20 shots from the field and missed his last eight attempts.

The Mocs’ second-leading scorer, David Jean-Baptiste, who hit a 30-footer at the final horn to win the Southern Conference title and send Chattanooga to the NCAA tourney, connected on just 2 of 11 shots and scored four points.

Chattanooga led for all but 1:26 of the game, earning a 43-41 edge on the boards and holding Illinois to 38.8 percent shooting from the field.

The Mocs opened early leads of 12-3 and 20-6 despite finding foul trouble inside early. Silvio De Sousa was whistled for two quick fouls and Josh Ayeni also committed two early fouls while trying to guard Cockburn.

But Illinois simply couldn’t make shots — either from the field or the line. The Illini enjoyed a significant advantage in free-throw attempts but couldn’t make it matter, hitting only 9 of 17 before halftime. Cockburn, who was fouled on a steady basis, converted just 5 of 10 free throws in the first half.

The Illini didn’t reach double figures until Omar Payne sank a layup at the 7:44 mark to make it 20-10. They found a little rhythm later in the half, drawing within 31-29 on a Cockburn dunk in the last minute before Smith canned a layup to put the Mocs ahead 33-29 at intermission.

The Mocs were up 40-29 early in the second half, but a 10-0 run wiped out most of the deficit.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

PlayAction Podcast

PlayAction Pod | SGPN’s $500 NBA Finals Prop Contest

NBA

Terrell Furman Jr. from SGPN’s NBA Gambling Podcast joins the show to preview the NBA Finals. We break down each question in SGPN’s $500 NBA Finals...

PlayAction Pod | Talking NFL Draft With OddsChecker
PlayAction Pod | Talking NFL Draft With OddsChecker

NFL

OddsChecker’s NFL Draft Props Contest  Completely free to enter. Just click the link, sign up, and answer all the questions. Whoever gets the most...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Final Four With Screen The Screener
PlayAction Pod | Talking Final Four With Screen The Screener

March Madness

Gus Kearns of the Screen The Screener Podcast joins the show to break down this weekend’s Final Four.     0:00 Intro 0:35 Gus talks...

PlayAction Pod | Talking March Madness With Quarter4
PlayAction Pod | Talking March Madness With Quarter4

March Madness

Danijela Covic, Co-Founder and CSO of Quarter4.io, joins the show to talk about the predictive data Quarter4 is making available to PlayAction users during...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Longhorn Hoops With InsideTexas
PlayAction Pod | Talking Longhorn Hoops With InsideTexas

March Madness

Joe Cook of InsideTexas.com joins the show to talk Longhorn Hoops.   0:00 Intro 0:49 What were the expectations for Texas coming into Chris...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Ohio State Hoops With BuckeyeScoop
PlayAction Pod | Talking Ohio State Hoops With BuckeyeScoop

March Madness

Tony Gerdeman of BuckeyeScoop.com joins the show to talk Ohio State Basketball in advance of March Madness

PlayAction Pod | Talking Houston Hoops With Kris Gardner
PlayAction Pod | Talking Houston Hoops With Kris Gardner

March Madness

Kris Gardner of The Houston Roundball Review – TheHRR.com – joins the show to talk about the Houston Cougars, their season so far and...

PlayAction Pod | Talking Arizona Hoops With AllSportsTucson
PlayAction Pod | Talking Arizona Hoops With AllSportsTucson

March Madness

Steve Rivera of AllSportsTucson joins the show to talk about #2 Arizona.

PlayAction Pod | Talking Baylor Hoops With SicEm365
PlayAction Pod | Talking Baylor Hoops With SicEm365

March Madness

Paul Catalina of SicEm365.com joins the show to talk Baylor Bears Hoops. 0:00 Intro 0:33 Catalina talks about Baylor expectations coming into the season...