CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Brandon Paul scored 17 points, Tracy Adams added 13 and No. 10 Illinois pulled away late to remain unbeaten with a 66-53 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Sunday night.
In a game between undefeated teams, the Illini led by 11 early but needed a late 12-2 run to gain control and help John Groce become only the second coach in Illinois history to win his first 12 games.
Groce matched the school record for the best start by a first-year coach set by Fletcher Lane in 1907.
Joseph Bertrand chipped in with 11 points for Illinois.
Corey Walden scored 21 points and Glenn Cosey had 11 for the Colonels (9-1), who came in riding the school’s best start in 66 years.
Eastern Kentucky hadn’t won nine games since the 1964-65 season.
Illinois stretched its regular-season, non-conference winning streak at home to 33 games.
NO. 24 OKLAHOMA STATE 91, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 63
In Stillwater, Okla., Le’Bryan Nash scored 19 points, Markel Brown had 14 points and eight rebounds and Oklahoma State overcame a slow start to beat Central Arkansas.
The Cowboys (8-1) fell behind by 11 in the first 8 minutes of the game, but responded with 13 consecutive points to take the lead for good.
Phil Forte had 12 points and Michael Cobbins and Marcus Smart each scored 10 for Oklahoma State.
Jordan Harks tied his career high with 16 points
and Jarvis Garner added 14 points for Central Arkansas (4-4).
The Bears played with starting point guard LaQuentin Miles, their second-leading scorer, because of a broken hand.
The Cowboys racked up a 53-35 rebounding advantage and outscored the Bears 44-26 in the paint.