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Illini Live - Basketball

CHAMPAIGN — The lead was quickly slipping away late in the second half, but Illinois pulled out a 77-74 win over UNLV on Saturday at the State Farm Center.

Andres Feliz led Illinois with 19 points and dribbled out the clock after coming up with a steal with two seconds left in the game.

Giorgi hits pair of free throws

With the lead down to two points with 27.6 seconds left, Illinois freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili hit a pair of free throws to take a four-point lead.

Illinois up 76-72.

Aaron Jordan hits big 3-pointer

With the lead down to seven points, Aaron Jordan took a pass from Trent Frazier and hit a big 3-pointer with 5:26 left in the game to take a 10-point lead on UNLV.

Illinois up 66-56 late in second half.

Illinois not putting UNLV away

The Illini lead 61-50 with 7:48 left in the game, but haven't been able to completely put away the Runnin' Rebels.

Andres Feliz (15) and Kipper Nichols (10) are the only two Illini players in double figures.

Illini extend lead

Aaron Jordan has the last three Illinois points to extend the lead to 55-42 over UNLV in with 13:54 left in the game.

Feliz on cruise control

Illinois junior Andres Feliz has the last six Illinois points and 15 total to take a 50-41 lead on UNLV with 15:22 left in the game.

Sloppy close to the first half, but Illinois leads

It wasn't pretty down the stretch in the first half, but late 3-pointers from Andres Feliz and Trent Frazier give Illinois a 40-34 lead after halftime.

Illinois has struggled in the second half this season.

Feliz leads the team with nine points, Kipper Nichols has eight, and Samba Kane and Frazier each have six.

Illinois has a season-high five blocks in the first half. Alan Griffin and Kane each have two and Aaron Jordan has a block.

UNLV is dominating on the glass, out-reounding the Illini 28-18. Cheikh Mbacke Diong has nine rebounds and nine points for the Runnin' Rebels.

Fouls adding up

Giorgi Bezhanishvili, Samba Kane and Kipper Nichols are each in foul trouble in the first half with two fouls.

Illinois leads 33-26 with 3:31 left in the first half.

Nichols leads the Illini with eight points and Samba Kane and Andres Feliz each have six points.

Illini up by 6 with 7:44 left in the first half

Kipper Nichols has continued his string of better play for the Illini. He's got eight points and two rebounds to help Illinois to a 25-19 lead in the first half.

Illinois freshman Samba Kane came up with a big block on the defensive end and followed it with a Dikembe Mutombo finger wag.

Illinois is getting out and running, and has a 13-2 advantage in fastbreak points.

Illinois goes on 10-4 run

Illinois broke a 9-9 tie with an alley oop from Alan Griffin to Samba Kane. That was the start of a 10-4 Illinois run, which included a 3-pointer from Kipper Nichols and Trent Frazier to take a 19-13 lead over UNLV with 10:44 left in the first half.

Kane has six early points.

Samba Kane gets early time

Illinois freshman Samba Kane entered the game as the first one off the bench and scored four quick points and missed a big dunk attempt. It was the earliest Kane has entered a game this season.

Illinois and UNLV are tied 9-9 with 15:49 left in the first half.

Starters announced


G — Trent Frazier

G  — Ayo Dosunmu

G — Aaron Jordan

F — Kipper Nichols

F  — Giorgi Bezhanishvili


G — Kris Clyburn 

G — Noah Robotham

F — Shakur Juiston

F — Joel Ntambwe

F — Cheikh Mbacke Diong

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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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