CHAMPAIGN, In poor health. (AP) — Andres Feliz scored 19 issues and Kipper Nichols added 12 as Illinois hung on to overcome UNLV 77-74 on Saturday to finish a three-game skid.

Illinois (Three-7) noticed a 14-point lead evaporate overdue within the sport, however iced the win when giant guy Giorgi Bezhanishvili hit two loose throws with 27 seconds left. The 6-foot-Nine Bezhanishvili, who completed with 9 issues, additionally hit a Three-pointer within the first part.

UNLV (Four-Four) was once led by means of Joel Ntambwe’s 18 issues. Cheikh Mbacke Diong scored 13 issues and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the Rebels.

Illinois held UNLV to 34 % taking pictures from the sphere (23 of 68), whilst taking pictures 47 % (28 of 59). Illinois blocked a season-high six pictures.

The Illini led 40-34 on the part.

“That is a type of video games the place you place it within the left-hand column and transfer the hell on,” stated Illinois trainer Brad Underwood. “That is the first time this yr we now have had to offer protection to a lead like that taking place to the cord. The opposite two wins had been blowouts.”

3rd-year UNLV trainer Marvin Menzies was once now not to be had for remark after the sport.

TURNING POINT

After gazing the Rebels hit their ultimate 5 box targets in a row, Illinois stepped up its guy protection and stopped them with seconds left. UNLV’s Amauri Hardy seemed like he was once going to take a possible game-winning Three-pointer however as an alternative pulled up and became the ball over on an errant cross with underneath 30 seconds left and Illinois clinging to a 75-74 lead. Ntambwe fouled Bezhanishvili with 27 seconds left and the massive guy from the rustic of Georgia sank each loose throws.

“I more than likely must have shot the ball,” Hardy stated after the sport. “Anything else is healthier than a turnover.”

HAVING FUN

Samba Kane, a 7-foot heart from Senegal, were given 16 mins of enjoying time for Illinois, scoring 8 issues. Kane, a real freshman, confirmed some offensive promise and was once a pressure across the rim all over his court docket time.

However his easiest second got here when he blocked an inside of shot and instantly wagged his finger on the opposing participant, harking back to former NBA big name Dikembe Mutombo.

“Oh, that was once giant time,” Underwood stated. “This sport is all about enthusiasm and a laugh and that little second was once a laugh.”

Kane stated it wasn’t his first wag, nor will it most likely be his ultimate. “I did that during highschool even,” he stated. “It felt excellent.”

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Early in the second one part, Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu was once fed an extended cross and, whilst being carefully guarded by means of two Rebels, went airborne, switched the ball from his proper hand to his left in the back of his again and gently laid the ball in for a 10-point Illinois lead.

BIG PICTURE

UNLV: The Rebels’ offense went to sleep halfway during the first part, turning the ball over 4 occasions and making no box targets for almost 8 mins, which allowed Illinois to pad the result in 15 issues.

Illinois: The Illini had been again in Champaign for the primary time in just about two weeks, enjoying its 3rd sport in seven days. Illinois was once overwhelmed by means of No. 19 Ohio on Wednesday on the United Middle in Chicago.

UP NEXT

UNLV: Hosts BYU on Saturday.

Illinois: Hosts East Tennessee State on Saturday.

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