UNLV
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Illinois beats UNLV to end three-game losing streak

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Andres Feliz scored 19 points and Kipper Nichols added 12 as Illinois held on to beat UNLV 77-74 on Saturday to end a three-game skid.

Illinois (3-7) saw a 14-point lead evaporate late in the game, but iced the win when big man Giorgi Bezhanishvili hit two free throws with 27 seconds left. The 6-foot-9 Bezhanishvili, who finished with nine points, also hit a 3-pointer in the first half.

UNLV (4-4) was led by Joel Ntambwe's 18 points. Cheikh Mbacke Diong scored 13 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the Rebels.

Illinois held UNLV to 34 percent shooting from the field (23 of 68), while shooting 47 percent (28 of 59). Illinois blocked a season-high six shots.

The Illini led 40-34 at the half.

''This is one of those games where you put it in the left-hand column and move the hell on,'' said Illinois coach Brad Underwood. ''That's the first time this year we've had to protect a lead like that going down to the wire. The other two wins were blowouts.''

Third-year UNLV coach Marvin Menzies was not available for comment after the game.

TURNING POINT

After watching the Rebels hit their last five field goals in a row, Illinois stepped up its man defense and stopped them with seconds left. UNLV's Amauri Hardy looked like he was going to take a potential game-winning 3-pointer but instead pulled up and turned the ball over on an errant pass with under 30 seconds left and Illinois clinging to a 75-74 lead. Ntambwe fouled Bezhanishvili with 27 seconds left and the big man from the country of Georgia sank both free throws.

''I probably should have shot the ball,'' Hardy said after the game. ''Anything is better than a turnover.''

HAVING FUN

Samba Kane, a 7-foot center from Senegal, got 16 minutes of playing time for Illinois, scoring eight points. Kane, a true freshman, showed some offensive promise and was a force around the rim during his court time.

But his best moment came when he blocked an inside shot and immediately wagged his finger at the opposing player, reminiscent of former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo.

''Oh, that was big time,'' Underwood said. ''This game is all about enthusiasm and fun and that little moment was fun.''

Kane said it wasn't his first wag, nor will it likely be his last. ''I did that in high school even,'' he said. ''It felt good.''

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Early in the second half, Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu was fed a long pass and, while being closely guarded by two Rebels, went airborne, switched the ball from his right hand to his left behind his back and gently laid the ball in for a 10-point Illinois lead.

BIG PICTURE

UNLV: The Rebels' offense went to sleep midway through the first half, turning the ball over four times and making no field goals for nearly eight minutes, which allowed Illinois to pad the lead to 15 points.

Illinois: The Illini were back in Champaign for the first time in nearly two weeks, playing its third game in seven days. Illinois was beaten by No. 19 Ohio on Wednesday at the United Center in Chicago.

UP NEXT

UNLV: Hosts BYU on Saturday.

Illinois: Hosts East Tennessee State on Saturday.

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Key Players
S. Juiston
A. Dosunmu
28.6 Min. Per Game 28.6
12.2 Pts. Per Game 12.2
3.2 Ast. Per Game 3.2
4.4 Reb. Per Game 4.4
44.3 Field Goal % 41.5
30.8 Three Point % 41.7
57.1 Free Throw % 60.7
  Bad pass turnover on Amauri Hardy, stolen by Andres Feliz 6.0
+ 1 Ayo Dosunmu made 2nd of 2 free throws 14.0
  Ayo Dosunmu missed 1st of 2 free throws 14.0
  Personal foul on Joel Ntambwe 14.0
+ 2 Cheikh Mbacke Diong made dunk 19.0
  Offensive rebound by Cheikh Mbacke Diong 19.0
  Amauri Hardy missed layup 20.0
+ 1 Giorgi Bezhanishvili made 2nd of 2 free throws 28.0
+ 1 Giorgi Bezhanishvili made 1st of 2 free throws 28.0
  Personal foul on Joel Ntambwe 28.0
  Defensive rebound by Giorgi Bezhanishvili 29.0
Team Stats
Points 74 77
Field Goals 23-68 (33.8%) 28-59 (47.5%)
3-Pointers 6-24 (25.0%) 6-22 (27.3%)
Free Throws 22-30 (73.3%) 15-22 (68.2%)
Total Rebounds 43 39
Offensive 14 8
Defensive 18 23
Team 11 8
Assists 7 12
Steals 6 6
Blocks 5 6
Turnovers 17 16
Fouls 22 22
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 7 REB
19 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo UNLV 4-4 344074
home team logo Illinois 3-7 403777
Team Stats
away team logo UNLV 4-4 73.2 PPG 46.3 RPG 12.0 APG
home team logo Illinois 3-7 76.0 PPG 36.5 RPG 15.3 APG
Key Players
24
J. Ntambwe F 8.3 PPG 4.0 RPG 0.4 APG 47.9 FG%
10
A. Feliz G 7.5 PPG 2.5 RPG 2.5 APG 45.7 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Ntambwe F 18 PTS 7 REB 0 AST
A. Feliz G 19 PTS 2 REB 2 AST
33.8 FG% 47.5
25.0 3PT FG% 27.3
73.3 FT% 68.2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Ntambwe 27 18 7 0 1 0 1 3 5/9 2/2 6/7 4 3
C. Diong 32 13 13 2 1 1 3 2 4/7 0/1 5/6 7 6
S. Juiston 24 9 3 3 0 2 2 2 4/11 1/1 0/0 0 3
K. Clyburn 21 8 2 0 0 0 2 3 1/8 1/4 5/8 0 2
N. Robotham 22 6 1 0 1 0 5 2 2/5 2/4 0/0 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Ntambwe 27 18 7 0 1 0 1 3 5/9 2/2 6/7 4 3
C. Diong 32 13 13 2 1 1 3 2 4/7 0/1 5/6 7 6
S. Juiston 24 9 3 3 0 2 2 2 4/11 1/1 0/0 0 3
K. Clyburn 21 8 2 0 0 0 2 3 1/8 1/4 5/8 0 2
N. Robotham 22 6 1 0 1 0 5 2 2/5 2/4 0/0 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Hardy 29 11 0 2 0 1 1 1 3/12 0/4 5/7 0 0
J. Tchamwa Tchatchoua 15 6 3 0 0 1 1 3 3/6 0/1 0/0 3 0
B. Hamilton 12 3 2 0 1 0 2 3 1/6 0/3 1/2 0 2
C. Dembele 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
T. Beck 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0
T. Woodbury 10 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0/3 0/3 0/0 0 0
N. Blair - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Coupet Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Sljivancanin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Green - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Coleman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Bangai - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 199 74 32 7 6 5 17 22 23/68 6/24 22/30 14 18
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Nichols 25 12 4 0 0 0 1 4 4/10 1/5 3/3 2 2
A. Dosunmu 27 10 5 3 1 0 4 3 4/10 0/4 2/4 0 5
A. Jordan 27 9 7 2 2 1 1 2 3/7 1/4 2/4 2 5
G. Bezhanishvili 22 9 2 1 0 0 2 3 2/6 1/2 4/4 1 1
T. Frazier 28 8 5 2 0 0 4 1 3/6 2/2 0/1 1 4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Nichols 25 12 4 0 0 0 1 4 4/10 1/5 3/3 2 2
A. Dosunmu 27 10 5 3 1 0 4 3 4/10 0/4 2/4 0 5
A. Jordan 27 9 7 2 2 1 1 2 3/7 1/4 2/4 2 5
G. Bezhanishvili 22 9 2 1 0 0 2 3 2/6 1/2 4/4 1 1
T. Frazier 28 8 5 2 0 0 4 1 3/6 2/2 0/1 1 4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Feliz 29 19 2 2 1 0 0 1 7/11 1/2 4/4 1 1
S. Kane 16 8 1 0 0 2 1 2 4/5 0/0 0/2 0 1
A. Griffin 11 2 3 1 1 3 2 1 1/3 0/2 0/0 1 2
T. Underwood 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
D. Williams 14 0 2 1 0 0 1 5 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 2
A. De La Rosa - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Cayce - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Oladimeji - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Griffith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Higgs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 201 77 31 12 6 6 16 22 28/59 6/22 15/22 8 23