Illini dig 27 point hole, comeback falls short against Miami

Local Sports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Miami Hurricanes came into Champaign shooting lights out, shooting 67% from the field in the first half for a 19 point lead. The Illini came all the way back with a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Ayo Dosunmu was called for a charge giving Miami the win.

Down one with the clock ticking towards zero, Ayo Dosunmu was ready to win it for the Illini and complete a comeback for the ages. Then a whistle. The sophomore was called for a charge, as Illinois’ shot to win all but faded.

“We put the ball in one of our best players hands and tried to get it to the rim and or make a play,” Brad Underwood said. “Again, Lykes as he was on the offensive end, made a defensive play.”

Chris Lykes put on a clinic, scoring a game high 28 points. The Illini couldn’t contain the 5-foot-7 point guard, who sparked the Hurricane offense to 66 percent shooting in the first half, including 50 percent from 3.

“We started really slow on the defensive side and they were hitting shots,” Andres Feliz said.

“We just didn’t come ready as we should you know, into shoot around or practice. Not as focused as we should have been, not as dialed in, didn’t go as hard as we can,” Giorgi Bezhanishvili said. “That’s on our part as players, just to go hard everyday.”

“I mean I tried everything in the first half. I mean the play card was tried, the timeouts were run out, at some point your competitive spirit has to kick in and it did,” Underwood added.

Underwood said his team had the worst shoot around this morning that he’s seen in his time in Champaign. It translated to the game, as the Illini were slow out of the gates. If that happens the next two games, it likely won’t be pretty. A trip to third ranked Maryland awaits on Saturday before No. 4 Michigan visits next Wednesday.

Kofi Cockburn lead Illinois with 23 points, Trent Frazier, Andres Feliz, and Dosunmu each reached double figures.

Illinois falls to 6-2 on the season with a trip to #3 Maryland coming up on Saturday.

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