Augustine, Brown carry Illini over Xavier
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – James Augustine netted 23 points and grabbed
seven rebounds as No. 12 Illinois escaped with a 65-62 victory over Xavier at
the United Center.
Dee Brown added 20 points, five rebounds and seven assists for the Illini
(7-0), who won for a 15th straight time at the United Center. Marcus Arnold
added seven points and six rebounds in the win.
Justin Cage scored 15 points to lead four Xavier players in double figures and
Justin Doellman added 12 points for the Musketeers (3-1), who were attempting
to win their first four games for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
Stanley Burrell added 11 points and three assists in the loss.
Xavier shot better from the floor, edging Illinois 48 percent to 40.8 percent,
but Illinois finished 19-of-31 from the free throw line compared to the
The game was a story of two different halves as Xavier dominated the first
until Illinois battled back in the second.
Down 36-26 after one half, Brown hit two consecutive treys to open the second
half and pull the Illini to within 36-32. Then, after a Will Caudle jumper for
Xavier, Illinois netted six straight points to tie the contest at 38-38 6 1/2
After two Augustine free throws put Illinois up 41-40, the Musketeers
responded with an 8-2 run to pull ahead 48-43 with 9 1/2 left to go in the
Two Brown free throws with over eight minutes left later pulled the Illini to
within 49-48 as the two teams battled closely over the next couple of minutes.
With Xavier ahead 53-51, Arnold would net five straight points on a layup,
jumper and free throw to put Illinois ahead 56-53 with just over five minutes
left to play.
A Cage layup made it a one-point contest at 56-55, but a 6-0 run by the
Illini, with the first four points courtesy of Augustine, extended Illinois’
lead to 62-55.
The Musketeers stayed close down the stretch but came up short. Brown hit two
free throws with 16 seconds left, but Burrell responded with a conversion from
behind the arc to make it 64-62. Brown then hit only 1-of-2 free throws for a
65-62 edge, however, Burrell’s three-point attempt as time wound down was no
Xavier was firing out of the gate to start the game, opening up the contest
with a 12-0 run, ignited by a Cage jumper and capped by a Burrell three-
pointer, and led 14-1 just over seven minutes in.
Illinois would cut the deficit to 22-15 after an 11-3 run with just over seven
minutes left in the half. Brian Randle accounted for six of the points during
the spurt. Xavier remained ahead at halftime however, as Caudle’s layup sent
the Musketeers into the break with a 36-26 edge.
Caudle finished with 10 points, while Brian Thornton added nine for
Xavier…This was only the second ever matchup between Illinois and Xavier and
the first since the Illini defeated the Musketeers, 81-69, on December 18,
1961…Illinois is now 28-6 at the United Center all-time and its current
winning streak dates back to December of 2001. It first began play there in