After being a game-time decision due to an injured ankle, point guard Tyler Kolek racked up 24 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead No. 4 Marquette to a 71-64 Gavitt Tipoff Games win over No. 23 Illinois on Tuesday night in Champaign, Ill.
Kolek, the reigning Big East Player of the Year and a preseason All-American, powered through 37 minutes with no apparent issues for the Golden Eagles (3-0). Kam Jones contributed 15 points and Oso Ighodaro added 13 points and eight rebounds for the visitors.
Terrence Shannon Jr. paced Illinois (2-1) with 21 points on 6-of-16 shooting, while Marcus Domask posted 18 points and Luke Goode added a career-high 13 off the bench. The Illini shot 35 percent from the floor and committed 15 turnovers — seven more than Marquette.
Marquette missed its first four shots from the floor and first two free-throw attempts as Illinois broke to a 5-0 lead, but the Golden Eagles quickly adapted as Kolek kept creating open looks in transition. He was responsible for 10 points — scoring six, assisting on four — during a 13-2 spree that gave Marquette control.
Kolek’s spin move and layup with 21 seconds left before intermission capped his 14-point first half and helped Marquette to a 36-31 lead at the break.
Illinois pulled within 38-37 in the first three minutes of the second half when Coleman Hawkins tipped in a rebound, then led a fastbreak that ended with him tossing an alley-oop pass to Domask for a layup.
When Hawkins swatted a Kolek layup and Shannon took it coast-to-coast for a layup of his own with 14:50 to play, Illinois took a 42-40 lead that marked the hosts’ first advantage since 7-6.
That triggered an intense four-plus-minute stretch where each time Illinois claimed a one-possession lead, Marquette answered to forge another tie.
Domask drilled a trey for Illinois, so Jones responded with a triple for Marquette. Domask sank two free throws, so Kolek drove for a right-handed layup. Shannon swished a three from the corner, so Kolek swished one of his own from the wing.
Kolek snapped the pattern with a driving scoop that gave the Golden Eagles a 54-52 edge with 9:41 to play. Sean Jones nailed a 3-pointer and Kam Jones hit a free throw to cap Marquette’s 8-0 run that gave the Golden Eagles the lead for good.