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Mar 29, 2024 12:51 am

Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois outlast Iowa State

Illinois, Iowa State cyclones

BOSTON — Terrence Shannon Jr. poured in 29 points and third-seeded Illinois held off a second-half rally to earn a 72-69 victory over second-seeded Iowa State on Thursday night in a battle of East Region teams in the Sweet 16.

The Fighting Illini will face top-seeded UConn in the Elite Eight on Saturday. The Huskies beat San Diego State earlier Thursday.

After trailing by nine with just under 14 minutes left in the game, the Cyclones (29-8) found themselves within 56-54 following a Curtis Jones 3-pointer with 5:27 to go.

Shannon and Luke Goode prevented Iowa State from moving in front by sandwiching Tre King’s layup with a pair of triples, making it 62-56 in favor of Illinois (29-8).

The Cyclones trailed by at least three the rest of the way, and Shannon’s steal and slam with 22 seconds to play clinched the victory.

Shannon is now 7-0 against Iowa State dating back to his Texas Tech days. He was with the Red Raiders for three seasons (2019-22).

Coleman Hawkins chipped in 12 points and six rebounds for the Fighting Illini, who outshot Iowa State 42.1 percent to 39.7 percent from the field.

Jones paced Iowa State with 26 points. Keshon Gilbert supplied 14, and King had 12 to go along with seven boards.

Gilbert lit a spark under the Cyclones, scoring eight points in the opening 3:38 of the second half to cut Iowa State’s deficit to 41-37.

It didn’t take long for Illinois to push the lead to nine, doing so when Shannon drove for a layup less than three minutes later to make it 48-39.

Then the Fighting Illini faced some adversity in the form of foul trouble for Shannon, who picked up his fourth personal with 11:17 to go. Shannon went to the bench, and Iowa State capitalized on his departure, using a 11-5 spurt to get within 56-54.

Illinois scored the first eight points of the game and later led 16-6, taking advantage of Iowa State’s 2-for-12 start from the field. But Jones got the Cyclones on track, knocking down a 3-pointer before converting a three-point play to make it a four-point game.

The Fighting Illini’s advantage grew to 24-12 with 6:31 left in the first half before Illinois took a 36-26 lead into the break.

–Nick Galle, Field Level Media

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