KT Harrell scored a career-high 23 points and Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored 13 but Auburn put itself in a 24-point hole at halftime and could never recover against Illinois, falling 81-62 on Sunday afternoon at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Illinois (8-1) took a 41-17 halftime lead by shooting 60 percent in the first frame and improved to 63 percent in the second. The Fighting Illini were was 7-for-13 from three-point range in the first half and finished the game 12-for-23 from beyond the arc.
Auburn (4-3) was held to just 26.1 percent shooting in the first half before a 51.7 percent outing in the second. Harrell scored 17 points after the break as he and Shamsid-Deen combined for 30 of Auburn’s 45 second-half points.
Rayvonte Rice led all scorers with 22 points, Tracy Abrams added 17 and Jon Ekey had 14, including 12 from three-point range.
Auburn will take 10 days off before returning to action on Thursday, Dec. 19 against Clemson at 7 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena. The game will be aired on FSN.