Despite a relatively subdued performance from Kris Dunn — who still had 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks — Providence was able to hold off Illinois on Wednesday in the Dunkin Donuts Center for a 60-59 win.
The Friars were able to just eke out the win despite Illinois having not one, not two but three chances on the final possession to win the game, including a missed tip-dunk.
Providence got a huge boost from Ben Bentil, as the man inside scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out three assists and blocked two shots.
Malcolm Hill led the way for Illinois with 15 points and 11 rebounds, but the Illini are now 1-2 with a pretty tricky matchup coming this weekend against a Chattanooga team that has already knocked off Georgia on the road. Given their injury situation and overall talent level, that’s certainly far from a lock.
I’m not sure what John Groce did to anger the basketball gods, but the Illini’s rough luck continues this season.