Freshman Akinjo leads Georgetown past Illinois 88-80

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Freshman James Akinjo had 19 points, including a key 3-point play, and seven assists, Jamorko Pickett blocked a shot in the closing seconds and Georgetown beat Illinois 88-80 on Tuesday night.

Akinjo sank a floater in the lane with 39 seconds left and was fouled, making the free throw to extend Georgetown’s lead to 84-80. Illinois nearly turned it over, called a timeout and then had back-to-back shots blocked by Jessie Govan and Pickett. Govan made two free throws at the other end and Jagan Mosely added two more on their next possession to seal it.

Freshman Josh LeBlanc had 14 points and seven rebounds for Georgetown (3-0), which won for the second time in six meetings against Illinois. Akinjo made all seven of his free throws as the Hoyas went 14 of 16.

Another freshman played big for Georgetown down the stretch as Mac McClung had a steal and reverse dunk on a breakaway to extend the lead to 75-72 with just under five minutes left.

Ayo Dosunmu led Illinois (1-1) with three 3-pointers and 25 points. Andres Feliz had 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.

GAVITT TIPOFF GAMES

The game was part of an annual early-season series played between the Big Ten and Big East conferences, named in honor of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt.

UP NEXT

Georgetown: The Hoyas play Loyola Marymount, of the West Coast Conference, on Friday in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in the Jamaican Classic. Austin Peay, Campbell, Central Connecticut, Florida A&M, Ohio, and South Florida round out the bracket.

Illinois: The Illini will travel to Hawaii on Thursday in preparation for the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center. Illinois will face No. 3 Gonzaga on Nov. 19. … It was Illinois’ last game at the State Farm Center until Nov. 25.