Dainja scores 22 as Illinois defeats Bethune-Cookman 85-52
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Dain Dainja scored a career-high 22 points and led five players in double-digit scoring as Illinois returned from a week off to power past Bethune-Cookman, 85-52 on Thursday night.
Neither team scored for more than two minutes to start the game. Illinois scored first on Coleman Hawkins’ layup at the 17:36 mark. The Wildcats went scoreless for the first five minutes and trailed 47-19 at intermission.
Dainja, who scored in double digits in the Illini’s first four games, accomplished the feat for the first time since posting 13 points in Illinois’ 79-70 win over UCLA on November 18.
Terrence Shannon Jr. came into the game averaging 18.2 points per game and finished with for Illinois. Sencire Harris scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds and had three assists, Coleman Hawkins added a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Jayden Epps pitched in with 10 points off the bench. Mathew Mayer had his string of games with at least 14 points snapped at four, finishing with seven on 2-for-9 shooting. He is now 11 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
Kevin Davis scored 13 points to lead Bethune Cookman (4-9). Reserve Dylan Robertson added 12 points.
Illinois opens Big Ten Conference play Wednesday at Northwestern.
Bethune-Cookman plays at Florida A&M in its Southwestern Conference opener Monday.
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