NC State falls at Illinois
By MICHAL DWOJAK
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Malcolm Hill scored 22 points to lead Illinois to an 88-74 victory over North Carolina State on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Illinois (5-3) shot 30 of 60 from the field for 50 percent to outlast N.C. State in what was a tightly contested game in which neither team had a double-digit lead until the Illini led 67-57 with about eight minutes left.
The Wolfpack held a 33-32 edge at the half but Illinois came out firing, shooting 68 percent in the second half and creating large leads that the Wolfpack could not overcome.
The Illini bench outscored the Wolfpack’s 39-22 and was led by Leron Black, who scored 15 points and brought in eight rebounds.
Torin Dorn scored 17 points to lead N.C. State (5-2), which shot 53 percent from the field. Ted Kapita had a strong showing from the bench, adding 13 points and five rebounds.
Despite the hot shooting, the Wolfpack committed 19 turnovers, which prevented the offense to consistently produce and resulted in 17 Illinois points.
Illinois: The Illini got a much-needed win against a respectable ACC opponent after a disastrous Thanksgiving week. Illinois will need to win most if not all of the remaining nonconference games if it wants to prove it’s a NCAA Tournament team.
North Carolina State: Time will tell whether this was a respectable loss. The Wolfpack will have a relatively easy path to the start of conference play.
Illinois travels to Miami on Saturday where it will play VCU in the Hoophall Miami Invitational.
North Carolina State returns home and will host Boston University on Saturday.
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