Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 29 points and was a career-best 8-for-9 from 3-point range to lead No. 19 Illinois to a 79-70 victory over No. 8 UCLA on Friday night in the Continental Tire Main Event at Las Vegas.
Shannon also collected 10 rebounds while Dain Dainja scored 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting for the Fighting Illini (4-0). Matthew Mayer added 11 points and Skyy Clark scored 10 for Illinois, which overcame a 15-point, second-half deficit.
Tyger Campbell had 22 points and three steals and Jaime Jaquez Jr. registered 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Bruins (3-1). David Singleton added 15 points for UCLA.
Illinois will face No. 16 Virginia in Sunday’s championship game. UCLA meets No. 5 Baylor in Sunday’s consolation game.
The Illini shot 52.9 percent from the field, including 12 of 25 from 3-point range.
UCLA made 37.5 percent of its shots and was 9 of 22 from behind the arc.
Illinois trailed 44-29 early in the second half, but Shannon made two 3-pointers during a 12-2 run to pull the Illini within five with 14:46 left.
Dainja’s three-point play moved Illinois within 52-51 with 9:49 remaining, and Clark’s reverse layup 39 seconds later gave the Illini their first lead of the second half. Sencire Harris added a fastbreak layup and Shannon drained a 3-pointer to end a 10-0 burst that gave Illinois a 58-52 lead with 8:02 left.
Shannon later buried two treys in a 99-second span to make it 66-59 with 4:34 to play. He hit No. 8 with 2:54 remaining to boost the lead to 71-61, and UCLA was unable to make a late run.
Campbell had 15 points and Jaquez had 12 as UCLA led 37-28 at the break. Shannon put up 10 points in the half for Illinois.
Shannon’s 3-pointer gave Illinois a 28-27 edge with 2:42 left before UCLA scored the next 14 points, including 10 to end the half. Jaquez’s basket with three seconds left gave the Bruins the nine-point halftime advantage.
Jaquez and Jaylen Clark opened the second half with baskets to conclude the spurt. A short time later, Jaquez connected from 3-point range to increase the lead to 15 with 17:53 remaining.
–Field Level Media