Big 2nd Half Propels Illinois Past Brown 89-68

 CHAMPAIGN  (AP) -- Aaron Cosby scored 18 points, with 13 in the first five minutes of the second half, as Illinois topped Brown 89-68 on Monday night.

   After facing a halftime deficit, Illinois (4-0) came back with its defense as the Illini went on a 9-0 run to take a 46-37 lead early in the second half. During the run, the Illini picked up three steals.

   Brown (1-4) took a 35-31 lead into halftime by shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Illinois' offense, which entered the game averaging 100.3 points per game, was limited to 30.6 percent from the floor in the first half.

   Rayvonte Rice added 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

   Steven Spieth led Brown with 21 points and seven rebounds. He was an efficient 7-of-10 from the field but had four turnovers.

   The run started with a steal by Rice, who was fouled on the layup.

   On the next possession Jaylon Tate got a steal off of a deflection from center Nnanna Egwu and pushed the ball into the paint. Hanging in midair, Tate wrapped around a Brown defender and found a wide-open Cosby in the corner for three.

   Cosby did the work himself on the next Bears possession, making a steal and drawing an intentional foul by Spieth. Cosby nailed both free throws and then put in a layup to push the lead to nine.

   After that, Brown never threatened and the lead reached as high as 24 in the second half.

   In the second half, Illinois shot 73.1 from the field and was 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. After its sluggish first half, Illinois dropped 58 points in the second half.

   Rayvonte Rice added 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Five Illinois players reached double figures.


   Brown: Spieth reached double figures for the first time this season. He hasn't shot better than 25 percent from the floor in four games this season.

   Illinois: After only a combined six rebounds in the team's first two games, Egwu gathered eight rebounds Monday.


   Brown will face Austin Peay in Las Vegas on Thursday.

   Illinois will face Indiana State in Las Vegas on Thursday.

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