Illinois earns second-round victory in NIT

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CHAMPAIGN — Tracy Abrams scored 18 points, Leron Black had a double-double and Illinois pulled away midway through the second half to beat Boise State 71-56 on Monday night in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

No. 2 seed Illinois (20-14) will play fourth-seeded Central Florida (23-11) in a quarterfinal. The game was tied at 49 with 10 minutes left before Illinois closed on a 22-7 run.

Malcolm Hill scored 13 points and has 1,817 for his career, surpassing Dee Brown (1,812) for third place all-time at Illinois. Abrams was 6 of 11 from the floor and made three 3-pointers. Black had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Chandler Hutchison scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead No. 6 seed Boise State (20-12). Nick Duncan chipped in 12 points. The Broncos shot 0 of 14 from long range in the second half.

Brad Underwood, who became the 18th coach in program history for the Illini, was in attendance. He replaced John Groce after five seasons.

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