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updated: 3/19/2014 8:53 PM

Rice scores 28, Illinois rallies past BU in NIT

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  • Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice (24) takes the ball to the hoop against Boston University forward Travis Robinson (24)during the second half of their NCAA mens NIT college basketball game Wednesday in Boston. Illinois defeated Boston University 66-62 in a come-from-behind victory late in the second half advancing to the second round of the NIT Tournament.

      Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice (24) takes the ball to the hoop against Boston University forward Travis Robinson (24)during the second half of their NCAA mens NIT college basketball game Wednesday in Boston. Illinois defeated Boston University 66-62 in a come-from-behind victory late in the second half advancing to the second round of the NIT Tournament.
    Associated Press

 

BOSTON -- Rayvonte Rice scored seven straight points late in the game and finished with 28, rallying Illinois past Boston University 66-62 on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.

The second-seeded Illini fought back from a 30-13 first-half deficit. Rice made the key play with 2:07 left when his steal and three-point play trimmed it to 61-60. He added two free throws and a driving layup to give Illinois a 64-61 lead.

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Dom Morris missed a contested layup on an inbounds play with 11 seconds left that would have tied it for BU, the regular-season champion in the Patriot League. Nnanna Egwu added two free throws to ice it for Illinois (20-14), which advanced to play No. 3 seed Clemson in the second round. Malcolm Hill had 10 points for the Illini.

It was the first meeting between Illinois and BU (24-11), which was seeking its first win in the NIT after five losses. D.J. Irving had 17 points for the seventh-seeded Terriers and point guard Maurice Watkins had seven points and 12 assists. Morris scored 10.

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