Smith leads Illinois past Air Force in Oakland bracket
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) – Jamar Smith went 6-of-8 from behind the arc
en route to a 20-point night, as Illinois downed the Air Force Falcons, 78-69,
in an Oakland bracket first-round game at Cox Arena.
Brian Randle added 15 points and seven rebounds while Dee Brown scored eight
points and dished out 10 assists for the fourth-seeded Fighting Illini (26-6),
who won their ninth consecutive first-round contest in NCAA Tournament play.
James Augustine contributed 10 points for Illinois, which is trying to make a
return trip to the championship game.
Antoine Hood netted 15 points and had six assists and Matt McCraw also scored
15 for Air Force (24-7). Jacob Burtschi and Dan Nwaelele each donated 13
points in the loss.
This and all of the games out of San Diego were briefly overshadowed by a bomb
scare earlier in the day.
A threat of suspicious activity caused the evacuation of the building
during the morning and delayed the start of the Marquette-Alabama game for
an hour and 10 minutes. All of the games following, as a result, were pushed
back from their original start times.
During a pre-game security check, two bomb-sniffing dogs were alarmed by a
vendor cart inside the stadium around three hours before the scheduled tip
of the first game. The building was immediately cleared before authorities
determined the arena to be completely safe.