Chattanooga Deals Illinois Another Concerning Early-Season Loss

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Eric Robertson's 15 points led six Mocs in double figures as Chattanooga overcame a nine-point, second-half deficit to defeat Illinois 81-77 Saturday.

Chattanooga (3-0) led by as many as 15 in the first half and by 12 shortly into the second before Malcolm Hill, who finished with 25 points, led a 34-13 Illinois surge. The Illini (1-3) led 69-60 with 6:20 left.

Three Mocs made 3-pointers to take back the lead in the final minutes. Tre' McLean tied it with 2:45 left and Robertson's corner trey gave the visitors from the Southern Conference a lasting lead at 1:55.

Illinois is 1-3 for the first time since 1965-66 and just the fourth time in 110 seasons.

The game is part of the Emerald Coast Classic, which concludes Friday and Saturday in Niceville, Fla.

Mike Thorne Jr. scored 18 for Illinois. Chuck Ester and Justin Tuoyo had 12 each for Chattanooga.

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