Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Illinois

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Indiana moved to 14-4 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play on Sunday afternoon with an 80-74 win over Illinois at the State Farm Center.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Fighting Illini:

· Indiana made the most important run of the afternoon: On an afternoon where there were numerous runs, the Hoosiers made the final one and as a result, won the game. After Illinois ripped off a 21-2 run to claim a 9-point lead midway through the second half, things stabilized as both teams traded baskets for roughly a seven-minute stretch.

Illinois looked to have control of things after a Kendrick Nunn 3-pointer pushed the lead to 72-67 with 3:20 to play, but from there it was all Indiana. The Hoosiers closed the game on a 13-2 run to claim their second Big Ten road win in three tries.

Tom Crean said Indiana never got down despite Illinois runs of 14-3, 11-0 and 21-2 throughout the afternoon.

“There were a lot of different things going on in the game,” Crean said. “So once they adjusted to something, you’ve got to be able to go to something else. And because the ball was moving, the screens were good, the cutting was good, the spacing was good, we were able to do that.”

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Hoosiers emerge victorious after ‘punch after punch’ battle in Champaign

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — State Farm Center was rocking.

Illinois was in the midst of a 21-2 run midway through the second half against Indiana on Sunday, turning a 10-point deficit into a nine-point lead. Hoosiers coach Tom Crean had called a timeout to settle his team.

In what had been a game of runs on Sunday, the Fighting Illini had the edge heading into the final 10:54 of the game. But the Hoosiers battled back.

And by the time the final buzzer sounded, Indiana (14-4, 4-1) had emerged with an 80-74 win — their second in three games on the road this season.

“Both teams just kept fighting back, throwing punch after punch,” Illinois coach John Groce said. “It was a high-level game.”

The first “punch” was thrown in the opening minutes of Sunday afternoon’s game, as Illinois raced to a 14-3 lead. Kendrick Nunn, who scored 24 points for the Illini, opened with three straight 3-pointers. Ahmad Starks added another, his first of five, to put the Illini up by 11.

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Video: Tom Crean reacts to win at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 80-74 win over Illinois at the State Farm Center on Sunday afternoon.

Watch the full press conference below:

Video: Indiana players react to win at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Troy Williams (21 points, nine rebounds), James Blackmon Jr. (21 points, seven rebounds), Nick Zeisloft (10 points, three rebounds) and Max Hoetzel (six points) met with the media following Indiana’s 80-74 win over Illinois at the State Farm Center on Sunday afternoon.

Watch postgame reaction from all four players below:

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The Minute After: Illinois

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Thoughts on an 80-74 win against the Illini:

Ranked No. 1, they couldn’t do it. Last season in overtime, they didn’t come through. 11 out of their last 12 tries, it didn’t happen.

But on this Sunday afternoon inside the State Farm Center in front of a record crowd of 17,085, the Hoosiers got it done and head back to Bloomington with the W. That’s two road wins in three tries to start the Big Ten season. It’s their third conference win coming into the game as the underdog. Size be damned, these Hoosiers show no panic or fear. They are a confident bunch of kids.

There were wild swings in this one. Indiana fell behind 14-3 as the Illini started hot from the perimeter. But the Hoosiers would bounce back. Illinois allowed dribbled penetration. IU’s guards took it into the paint for scores and kickouts to its 3-point shooters. Some of it came so easy it felt like a non-conference affair. What was once an 11-point deficit became an 11-point lead at 34-23 after a Collin Hartman score. At one point during this run, the Hoosiers stopped the Illini on seven straight possessions. But there came 11 straight points from Illinois toward the end of the half and they tied the ballgame at 34-all. Four points from the Hoosiers to close out the half had them up 38-34 at the break.

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Illinois filling void left by Rayvonte Rice by committee

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Indiana got to know Illinois’s Rayvonte Rice quite well last season — the 6-foot-4 senior’s first with the Fighting Illini.

In his three games against the Hoosiers, Rice averaged 20.7 points per game, with more than 70 percent of those points coming from either on 2s or at the line.

But in the Hoosiers’ lone regular season match-up against the Illini on Sunday, Indiana will not have to deal with Rice, who is out with a left hand fracture.

Instead, the Hoosiers will have to deal with a team by committee, as Illinois coach Jon Groce said on Friday. A team that has the adaptability of a “chameleon,” he said.

“They’ve had different guys step up and make plays at different times in games because everybody can make a play,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “I think they’ve responded really well to the loss of Rice, who’s one of the better players in our league without question. But it’s because of the fact that they have so many guys with versatility to get to the basket and to shoot the three.”

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Devin Davis acclimating to life back in Bloomington

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Sophomore Devin Davis is adjusting to life back in Bloomington.

After being absent from the Indiana men’s basketball team for more than two months while rehabilitating from a car accident on Nov. 1 that left him with a traumatic brain injury, Davis returned to campus on Jan. 6. He has been back for less than two weeks. And he slowly is returning to normal activities.

Saturday evening, Davis will be leaving Bloomington again — but this time it will be with his teammates. After doctors’ approval, Davis will be traveling with the Hoosiers to their Sunday afternoon game at Illinois. It will be his first trip with the team this season.

“His attitude is great,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “He feels he’s doing really well. He feels he’s recovered at a really high rate. But we have to keep trusting the plan and trusting the doctors constantly on what that means. And I like the fact that he’s hungry but you also have to remain patient knowing that we’re all dealing with something that most of us — especially him — … have never dealt with this before.”

While Davis was gone, every day during practices the Hoosiers would leave his jersey and shorts on a chair as a reminder of their missing teammate.

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