Illinois is ranked as the No. 8 team in the country for a reason. Brad Underwood’s squad was ready to prove it earned that preseason ranking in the season opener on Wednesday.

North Carolina A&T was able to hang tough with the Fighting Illini for about 6 minutes in the 1st half, but a 3-pointer from Ayo Dosunmu with 14:10 left in the half to put Illinois ahead 12-5 really opened the floodgates.

That shot sparked a 24-0 run, giving Illinois a 32-5 lead with 7:35 remaining in the half and essentially putting the game out of reach early. North Carolina didn’t hit a double-digit point total until the 4:45 mark, trailing 40-11.

At the half, Illinois owns a 58-19 advantage.

Adam Miller was the team leader at the half, scoring 19 points. Ayo Dosunmu chipped in with 14, the only two Illini to score in double figures in the half. Dosumnu also grabbed 6 rebounds and Kofi Cockburn had 5 points and 5 rebounds.