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NCAA Basketball: No. 24 Illinois Barely Escapes At Home Vs. Cornell

No. 24 Illinois squeaked past Cornell on Monday.

No. 24 Illinois may still be reeling from its disappointing loss to UNLV this weekend at the United Center in Chicago because the Illini certainly weren't expected to have so much trouble vs. Cornell on Monday night. The Big Red took Illinois down to the wire at Assembly Hall, but a big game from sophomore center Meyers Leonard fueled the Illini to a 64-60 victory.

Cornell simply doesn't have anyone with Leonard's size and athleticism, and the Illini big man made them pay for it. Leonard continued his strong season with 19 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks, all game highs. Junior guads D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul also shined. Richardson finished with 17 points and three assists, while Paul added 15 points and four rebounds. No bench players scored for the Illini.

Cornell was led by forward Josh Figini, who scored 14 points. Guard Chris Wroblewski (10 points) was the Big Red's only other scorer in double-figures.