Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
CHAMPAIGN – Lewis’ men’s basketball team led by as many as 12 in the first half of its exhibition contest at Illinois on Friday night before the Illini pulled away in the second half to win, 83-50. Anthony D’Avanzo (Harwood Heights, Ill./Notre Dame) led all scorers with 17 points while Dre Bell (Detroit, Mich./River Rouge) finished with 10.
After giving up the first basket of the game the Flyers went on a 14-0 run over a six-minute stretch. They hit four of their first five three-pointers in the run. D’Avanzo had eight points in that run while Bell and Donovan Oliver (Kewanee, Ill./Kewanee) each hit a three-pointer.
Illinois responded with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to seven but Lewis responded with a 7-3 run of its own to extend its lead back to double digits at 23-12 with 8:08 left in the opening half.
The Fighting Illini closed the half on a 20-6 run to take a 32-29 lead into the locker room.
The Flyers shot 46 percent (12-for-26) from the field in the first 20 minutes and were 5-of-7 from three. D’Avanzo had 15 of his points in the half.
Oliver scored the first points of the second half to pull Lewis within one but Illinois began to pull away with an 18-3 run. The Flyers wouldn’t get closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Lewis was held to 27 percent shooting (8-for-30) in the second half and was 3-of-9 from downtown while the Fighting Illini shot 59 percent (17-for-29) from the floor and was 7-of-9 from three.
The Flyers tip-off the regular season next Saturday (Nov. 9) as they travel to Lebanon, Ill., to take on Northern Michigan in the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge at 5:30 p.m. at McKendree University.