Thursday , Mar , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

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.

AIRFORCE ILLINOIS