CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (ValleyCentral) — UTRGV Men’s Basketball continued their road trip to face the #14 University of Illinois Fighting Illini, and were defeated 94-85.
The Illini took an early lead to open up the game, but the Vaqueros would score 11 straight points with help from a jumper, dunk, and free throw from Marek Nelson. That streak putting the Vaqueros up 20-10.
The Vaqueros would not stop there. After one basket in response from the Illini, Justin Johnson and Doc Nelson would hit jumpers to kick off a 20-4 run to push their lead to 24-12.
It would not be till about five minutes left in the first half, that the Illini would be able to take the lead back 33-32.
With about a minute left in the first half, both teams went back and forth leading to a 37 all tie to end the half.
The second half was a hard back and forth battle between the teams, until they were tied again, this time at 82, with only 3 minutes left to play.
The Illini would go on a 6-1 run to make their lead 88-83.
The Vaqueros would answer back with a layup from RayQuan Taylor, but 88-85 would be as close as they would get.
The Illini kept things going with free throws to end the game at 94-85.
The Vaqueros end their road trip with this game and will come back to the UTRGV Fieldhouse to face the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders as part of the South Texas Showdown.