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Illinois tops Stony Brook, 76-66

The place is just about packed, with the student section making its presence felt at both ends of the court.

Starters: Illinois - Demetri, McCamey, G; D.J. Richardson, G;  Bill Cole, F; Mike Davis, F;  Mike Tisdale C. Stony Brook - Muhammad El-Amin, G; Bryan Dougher, G; Chris Martin, G;  Dallis Joyner, F; Tommy Brenton, F;

First half - It was a quick start for Stony Brook. El-Amin drained a three, while Dougher and Martin hit layups for a 7-0 lead. Timeout Illini with 18:10 left. Illinois answered with a quick 6-0 run, prompting a Stony Brook timeout with 16:27 left. 7-6 Seawolves.

So far so good for Stony Brook. El-Amin sparked a 6-0 run with a long two-pointer. The Seawolves have played excellent defense so far as six of their points have come directly off turnovers. Seawolves lead 18-16 with 12:58 left. We have a TV timeout. The score is tied at 18 with 11:59 to go in the first.

Illinois broke a three-minute scoring drought on a three-pointer by McCamey. Illinois leads 21-18 with 8:53 left in the half.

Illinois looked as if it were going to take control as it bolted to a 25-20 lead. But Bryan Dougher answered with two straight threes to give Stony Brook a 26-25 lead with 6:19 left.

The teams have been trading jumpers the last couple of minutes. Illinois' Davis hit a jumper to give the Illini a 27-26 lead, but Chris Martin came back with a three to put the Seawolves up 29-27. But D.J. Richardson responded with a three from the corner. Illinois leads 30-29 with 3:52 to go in the half.

Stony Brook is beginning to assert itself on offense. Danny Carter drained a three and El-Amin followed with a driving layup. Seawolves lead 34-30 with 2:30 left. Illinois scored six quick points for a 36-34 lead. Martin answered for Stony Brook and tied the score at 36, but the Illini had the last word as McCamey drained a jumper as time expired in the first half. Illinois leads 38-36 at the half.

Halftime stats: Bryan Dougher leads Stony Brook with 15 points and Chris Martin has nine. Mike Davis has 15 points and Demetri McCamey has 10 for Illinois.

Stony Brook is shooting 47 percent from the field, while the Illini are shooting 61.5 percent. But they have 10 turnovers, which is why the Seawolves are still in it.

Second half: Illinois is on fire. Demetri McCamey hit a three and and a free throw, which was followed by a three from Mike Tisdale. Illinois leads 45-36 with 18:07 left. Timeout Stony Brook.

El-Amin stopped the Illinois run with a fade away jumper, but D.J. Richardson drained a three to extend the Illini lead to 48-38 with 17:16 left.

Stony Brook is creeping back in it as Joyner hit a free throw, followed by a three from Dougher. Illinois leads 48-42 with 15:00 left. It didn't take Illinois to answer. The Illini scored eight of the next nine points for a 56-43 lead with 12:53 left. Timeout Stony Brook.

After an important stop, El-Amin fed Joyner for a dunk and a foul. Illinois leads 56-46 with 11:35 left.  Stony Brook is hanging tough. Tisdale dunked home an offensive rebound, but Danny Carter hit a jumper for Stony Brook. Illinois leads 57-48 with 8:45 left.

Stony Brook is still in it as Dougher drained another three, followed by a three-point play from Martin. Illinois leads 59-54 with 7:00 left.

Things are getting tight for Stony Brook as Illinois scored four straight for a 63-54 lead with 4:33 left. Stony Brook won't die, though, as Danny Carter hit a three. Illinois answered with an alley-oop by Davis, but El-Amin came right back with a driving layup. Illinois leads 65-59 with 3:05 left. Timeout Stony Brook. 30 seconds.

Things are starting to fade away for Stony Brook. The Seawolves missed a long three, but got the ball back after a turnover by Illinois. The Illini leads 65-59 with 2:21 left.

It looks like Stony Brook's season is coming to and end. Mike Tisdale drained a long three to give Illinois a 68-59 lead with 1:30 to go.

The Seawolves are in full foul mode now. Tisdale hit two free throws, extending the lead to 70-59 with 1:00 left. After Brandon Paul hit two free throws to extend the lead to 72-61, El-Amin hit a three. Illinois leads 72-64 with 40 seconds left.

Illinois hit a few late free throws to seal it. Illinois wins 76-66.

New York Sports