KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It was supposed to be the toughest test thus far for first-year University of Cincinnati men's basketball coach Wes Miller and his Bearcats.
Jeremiah Davenport scored 20 points, Mike Saunders Jr. added 19 and Cincinnati stunned No. 14 Illinois 71-51 Monday night on the first day of the Hall of Fame Classic at the T-Mobile Center.
Using their quickness and their depth, the Bearcats (5-0) rallied from two 15-point first-half deficits to hand the Fighting Illini (2-2) their second loss in as many games.
Cincinnati also foiled the season debut of Illinois All-American center Kofi Cockburn, who returned after serving a three-game suspension for selling institutionally issued apparel and memorabilia.
The 7-foot, 285-pound Cockburn had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the Illini.
Up next: Cincinnati will face the winner of No. 13 Arkansas and Kansas State on Tuesday night.