Shannon scores 30 as No. 19 Illinois routs Monmouth 103-65

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Terrence Shannon Jr. had a career-high 30 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 19 Illinois to a 103-65 win over Monmouth on Monday night.

Freshman guard Jayden Epps scored a season-high 21 points and Dain Dainja finished with 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting for the Illini (3-0).

Andrew Ball scored 13 points to lead Monmouth (0-3), and Jack Collins added 12.

Illinois made its first five shots — four of them 3s — and hit nine of its first 12 shots to sprint out to a 24-9 lead. It was a sharp contrast from a 1-for-18 start from the field in a win over Kansas City last Friday.

Illinois led 8-0 just 44 seconds in thanks to a 3 by Shannon, a steal and layup from RJ Melendez and a 3 from Skyy Clark. Clark pushed the Illini lead to double digits with a decisive crossover in transition and a layup, part of a 31-5 run that included four buckets from Shannon and four from Dainja.

Illinois led 63-33 at halftime after shooting 76.7% in the first half.

The Illini sharpshooters cooled off a bit in the second half, finishing the game at 59.7%. It hardly mattered in part due to converting 24 Hawks turnovers into 30 points.


Monmouth: King Rice’s group is working through some inevitable bumps after graduating eight seniors from last year’s 21-13 team. Back-to-back road games against ranked opponents should serve as good preparation for Monmouth’s first season in the CAA after jumping from the MAAC.

Illinois: Limiting turnovers will be a key for this group in challenging games in Las Vegas against No. 8 UCLA and either No. 5 Baylor or No. 16 Virginia. The Hawks looked helpless before crawling into the game by scoring seven points off four turnovers.


Monmouth: The Hawks take on Norfolk State in their home opener on Thursday.

Illinois: Heads to Las Vegas to take on No. 8 UCLA Friday in the first of two games in the Continental Tire Main Event.


More AP college basketball: and and

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up