Playing its first regular season in more than seven months, North Carolina A&T made a trip to No. 8 Illinois.
The start of the 2020-21 campaign was a painful one for the Aggies, as the Fighting Illini dominated from the opening tip to cruise to a 122-60 win on Wednesday.
North Carolina A&T was led by Blake Harris’ 12 points and Fred Cleveland’s 9 points and 4 rebounds. The Aggies struggled offensively, shooting only 26.3% from the field.
Illinois pulled away early and dominated in every offensive stat category in the first half, capped off by a 24-0 scoring run. During that time the Aggies were unable to convert, shooting 0-for-16 during the 10-minute period.
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The Illini took a 58-19 lead into the locker room, backed by 11 made three-point shots on 17 attempts and complete domination on the glass, out-rebounding the Aggies 35-8 in the first half.
The second half was more of the same, as the Illini extended their lead thanks to another large run of 16-0.
The Aggies had their moments, including an 11-0 run with four forced turnovers halfway through the second period, but the Illini’s offense was too much to handle down the stretch. Illinois scored 64 second-half points on 64.1% shooting.