NIT Roundup: Illinois rolls past Boise State, 71-56

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Tracy Abrams scored 18 points, Leron Black had a double-double and Illinois pulled away midway through the second half to beat Boise State 71-56 on Monday night in the second round of the NIT.

No. 2 seed Illinois (20-14) will play fourth-seeded Central Florida (23-11) in a quarterfinal. The game was tied at 49 with 10 minutes left before Illinois closed on a 22-7 run.

Malcolm Hill scored 13 points and has 1,817 for his career, surpassing Dee Brown (1,812) for third place all-time at Illinois. Abrams was 6 of 11 from the floor and made three 3-pointers. Black had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Chandler Hutchison scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead No. 6 seed Boise State (20-12). Nick Duncan chipped in 12 points. The Broncos shot 0 of 14 from long range in the second half.

Brad Underwood, who became the 18th coach in program history for the Illini, was in attendance. He replaced John Groce after five seasons.

Texas-Arlington 85, Akron 69

ARLINGTON, Texas — Kaelon Wilson scored 18 points and Texas-Arlington routed Akron in the second round of the NIT.

No. 6 seed Texas-Arlington (27-8) will play the Cal State Bakersfield-Colorado State winner in a quarterfinal. The Mavericks have won 14 straight at home.

Wilson was 7 of 9 from the floor. Kevin Hervey and Erick Neal added 13 points apiece for the Mavericks, who shot 53 percent from the floor and made 12 of 29 (41 percent) from long range.

Jimond Ivey scored 14 points to lead No. 7 seed Akron (27-9). Kwan Cheatham Jr. chipped in 11 points.

Central Florida 63, Illinois State 62

NORMAL, Ill. — B.J. Taylor scored 22 points, including a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left and Central Florida beat Illinois State in the second round of the NIT.

No. 4 seed UCF (23-11) will play the Boise State-Illinois winner in a quarterfinal. Top-seeded Illinois State (28-7) had its 22-game home winning streak snapped.

Taylor scored 17 points in the second half and finished 11 of 11 from the line. Matt Williams added 15 points and A.J. Davis 11 for the Knights.

Deontae Hawkins scored 15 points to lead Illinois State.

Cal State Bakersfield 81, Colorado State 63

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Jaylin Airington scored 19 points, Dedrick Basile had 17 and Cal State Bakersfield cruised to a victory over Colorado State in the second round of the NIT.

No. 8 seed Cal State Bakersfield (24-9) will play No. 6 seed Texas-Arlington (27-8) in a quarterfinal Wednesday.

Airington was 7 of 13 from the field and made three 3-pointers. Basile was 5-of-12 shooting. Shon Briggs added 15 points and Damiyne Durham chipped in 12.

Gian Clavell scored 21 points to lead fourth-seeded Colorado State (24-12). Prentiss Nixon added 15 points and Nico Carvacho grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and finished with five points.

The Roadrunners opened on a 13-2 run. Colorado State pulled to 18-17 before Cal State Bakersfield used a 34-15 run for a 52-32 halftime advantage. Cal State Bakersfield had a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

By Paul Wager

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