CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Coleman Hawkins was on triple-double watch. The Illinois junior forward hawked a late rebound with less than two minutes left against Syracuse to secure his first career triple-double, scoring 15 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing 10 assists. The career night led No. 16 Illinois to a 73-44 win over Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at State Farm Center.
It’s just the fifth triple-double in school history for Illinois and the first since Ayo Dosunmu did it back in 2021. Before that, Sergio McClain (2001) and Mark Smith (1978) are the only other Illini players to accomplish the rare feat, Dosunmu did it twice.
The Illini (6-1) used a 12-0 run midway through the second half to pull away from the Orange (3-4), handing them their third straight loss, in the final game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terrence Shannon Jr. led all scorers with 17 points and seven rebounds, with RJ Melendez (15) and Jayden Epps (11) also in double-figures for the Illini.
Illinois head coach Brad Underwood won his 100th game with the Illini, becoming just the sixth coach in program history to reach the century mark. He joins Lou Henson, Harry Combes, Bruce Weber, Doug Mills and J. Craig Ruby in that elite category.
Illinois returns to the court on Friday night visiting No. 22 Maryland in the Big Ten opener.