Illini Prove They're No One-Trick Pony As They Gallop Past Wildcats in 96-66 Rout

By IlliniGuys Staff

January 2, 2024

(Cover photo courtesy Joe Clark/IlliniGuys)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - There's no question 9th ranked Illinois is a better team with All-American Terrence Shannon on the floor.

But they're now looking to convince critics that, even without their alpha dog, their bite is still fearsome.

Marcus Domask scored his second 30-point game in a month and the Illini got contributions from several key players to post a 96-66 rout of a Northwestern team that landed briefly in the top 25 during the month of December.

Illinois (11-2, 2-0) put together a dominating shooting performance, hitting 63 percent from the field, led by Domask.  The Southern Illinois transfer, who had struggled with his shot since scoring a career-high 33 points in the upset win over then-11th ranked Florida Atlantic at the Jimmy V Classic in New York City on December 5th, hit 11-of-15 shots from the field for a game-high 32 points while dishing out a team-high six assists.

Justin Harmon turned in a season high for the second time in as many outings with 20 points off the bench, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.  The Utah Valley State transfer had hit five three-pointers all season, but is now 8-of-12 from the arc with 38 total points in the two games since Christmas.

Quincy Guerrier posted his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds and hit a three-pointer for the fifth game in a row.  He's connected on 12-of-24 from the arc during that stretch.  Coleman Hawkins added 13 points to go along with five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots on the defensive end.

Boo Buie led Northwestern (10-3, 1-1) with 20 points.

It was the second game in a row for the Illini without Shannon, the team's leading scorer who was suspended indefinitely from all team activities on Thursday following rape allegations stemming from an incident in Lawrence, Kansas in mid-September.  He awaits an arraignment hearing on January 18th.

The Illini now head into West Lafayette to face top-ranked Purdue Friday night (7:30pm CST, FS1).

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for complete postgame coverage from State Farm Center.

 

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