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Domask & Shannon (66 points) lead Illinois past No. 11 FAU at MSG

A second half offensive explosion fueled a huge win for the Illini.

NCAA Basketball: Jimmy V Classic-Florida Atlantic at Illinois Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Under the brightest of lights in the Big Apple, Illinois’ shining stars took over.

After a slow start for both teams, the end of this one was anything but. Fueled by 66 combined points from Terrence Shannon Jr. and Marcus Domask, Illinois outlasted Florida Atlantic in a 98-89 victory Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.

In the second game of a massive road trip for the Illini, they faced one of their toughest tests of the season in No. 11 FAU.

Coming off of a dominant win to open Big Ten play over Rutgers, No. 20 Illinois was looking to make it five wins in a row taking on the Owls at MSG.

The Illini (7-1, 1-0 Big Ten) flexed their defense at times in the first half, fueling a 9-0 run that put them up 27-23 with just under six minutes left before the break. Shannon Jr. led all Illini scorers with 9 points in the first 20 minutes.

Illinois’ lead wouldn’t last very long as FAU took a 42-39 lead into the locker rooms.

The second half became the Marcus Domask show.

The SIU grad transfer opened the scoring for Illinois out of the break, scoring the team’s first 7 points and knocking down the Illini’s first 4 field goals. This was just the start of his dominance down the stretch.

But one of the night’s biggest shots came from Coleman Hawkins, left wide open at the top of the arc with just three minutes to go. Hawkins lined up his shot and sank a massive three, giving the Illini a two-possession advantage they would never let up.

Domask would go on to score 25 of his 33 total points in the second half on an efficient 15-of-21 shooting from the field on the night.

Shannon Jr. quietly dominated as well, finishing with 33 points on 10-of-14 shooting (11-of-13 from the free throw line).

Taking the first two games of this three game trip has proved the Illini can get it done on the road. Right now, this team looks legit.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS

TSJ, you are ridiculous.

SOUND SMART

  • Illinois bullied FAU in the paint, outscoring the Owls 48-36.
  • The Illini defense was stingy on the perimeter, holding Florida Atlantic to just 9-of-23 from behind the arc.
  • Illinois finally got it done from the free throw line, shooting 18-of-20 from the charity stripe on the night.
  • Domask and Shannon took over the game in the second half, accounting for 49 of Illinois’ 59 total points after the break.

TWEET OF THE GAME

UP NEXT

Illinois will head to Knoxville to take on No. 17 Tennessee this Saturday.

Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. on CBS.