News Local/State

Illini Men Drop Third Straight, 66-58 To Purdue


The Illini men dropped their third straight Big Ten game Wednesday night.  A.J. Hammons scored 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks to lead Purdue to a 66-58 win in Champaign.

Boilermaker coach Matt Painter said rebounding was the difference.  Illini coach John Groce agreed.

"Especially in the second half," he said.  "Twenty-three to seven they out-rebounded us.  That's unacceptable.  They were tougher than us physically, and they threw us around like a bunch of rag dolls."

The final rebound tally was 42-to-28 in favor of Purdue.  Tracy Abrams scored 13 for Illinois, and Rayvonte Rice eleven. But they had eleven and ten, respectively, at halftime.

By contrast, Joe Bertrand scored 9 of his 11, and Jon Ekey all of his six points after the break.  Freshmen Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn added seven and eight respectively.

Illinois hurt itselt at the free-throw line, missing the front end on each of its 1-an-1 opportunities.  The Boilermakers improved to 2-and-2 in the Big Ten and 12-and-5 overall. 

Illinois drops to 13-and-5 and 2-and-3 in conference play.