SPOKANE, Wash - Brandon Paul scored 35 points to lead No. 13 Illinois over No. 10 Gonzaga 85-74 on Saturday in a matchup of unbeaten teams.
Tracy Abrams added 14 points for Illinois (10-0) and new coach John Groce is off to the best debut for an Illinois coach in the team's modern history.
Kelly Olynyk scored 16 points to lead Gonzaga (9-1).
Myke Henry's basket gave Illinois its first lead of the game at 44-43 in the opening seconds of the second half, and the Illini pushed that to 54-49 by making all five of their field goals to open the half.
Henry's 3-pointer gave Illinois a 59-51 lead. Two baskets by Przemek Karnowski cut Illinois' lead to 61-58.