News Local/State

The Illini Suffer a Late Loss to Indiana 80-74

Kendrick Nunn shoots a three pointer against Indiana

Kendrick Nunn shoots a three pointer against Indiana (Photo: Rob McColley)

The Illini men lost their fourth of six Big Ten basketball games yesterday afternoon in Champaign.
Indiana used a 13-2 run to close the game, leaving town with an 80-74 win. 

The key play was a turnover by Malcolm Hill with a minute-fourteen to go. On an inbounds play drawn up for him, Hill threw the ball away. 

With 20 seconds to go, Hill missed a potential game tying shot.

Coach John Groce said was less frustrated by the missed shot than the ball-handling.

“Like I told Malcolm, to pass up a wide open three, and he’s shot forty percent in his career, and I didn’t want an isolation on the sideline. He’s one-on-one with a guard, and he’s 6’6, I would take that. He turned over. He’s not trying to do that. I think sometimes you can micromanage the game to an extent, but at the end of the day, your guy’s gotta make basketball plays. If you’re double, pass it. If you’re single coverage, make a move.” 

The Hoosiers shot 48-percent from the floor, and 44-percent from three-point range. 

Illinois' shooting numbers were nearly identical (47.3 % and 44.4 % respectively), as were assist-to-turnover rations (16-9 for Indiana, and 18-10 for Illinois).

Rebounding is where Indiana separated itself. The Hoosiers grabbed 31 to Illinois' 25.

James Blackmon Jr. and Troy Williams led the Hoosiers with 21 points apiece. 

Kendrick Nunn led all scorers with 24 for Illinois, including 6 of 10 from three-point range.  Ahmad Starks was 5 of 8 from the arc for Illinois. He finished with 19.

All-century team member Dave Downey was presented with a plaque at halftime, in recognition of his two-million-dollar gift toward State Farm Center renovations. 

A capacity crowd of 17,085 set an attendance record for the building formerly known simply as "assembly hall." The number of available seats is greater this year than it has been in years past. When renovations are finished, the building will have fewer seats than its original capacity.

With the win, Indiana improves to 14-4 on the year, and 4-1 in conference. 

The Illini are now 12-7 on the year, 2-4 in the Big Ten. They return to action Wednesday night, at home, against Purdue.