At the Buzzer: Indiana 71, Illinois 68
Quick thoughts on a 71-68 win against Illinois:
How it happened
Indiana’s defense wasn’t up to par to begin Saturday’s matinee at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers did a decent job early on Matthew Mayer, but once the Baylor transfer got rolling, he was a difference maker. With Terrence Shannon Jr. unavailable due to a concussion, Mayer went off for 16 first half points. And while Trayce Jackson-Davis was an efficient 5-for-6 from the field, Illinois switched up its coverages and made the All-American far more uncomfortable than the first meeting in Champaign. By halftime, Illinois led Indiana 38-35. The Fighting Illini scored 1.17 points per possession in the first half. Jalen Hood-Schifino’s play was also problematic for Indiana. The freshman star was 1-for-8 from the field and committed three turnovers. In the first half, Illinois had 11 second-chance points and eight points off of turnovers.
The Illini opened a nine-point lead early in the second half, but Indiana cut the deficit to seven at 46-39 at the under-16 media timeout. Neither team could generate much offense out of the timeout, but Indiana did manage to trim another point off the lead to trail 50-44 with 10:48 to play. A 3-point play by Jackson-Davis off a nice assist from Miller Kopp drew Indiana within three at 54-51 at the under-eight timeout. Out of the timeout, Jackson-Davis turned it over and Luke Goode hit a long jumper to push the Illinois lead back to five.
On IU’s next possession, Hood-Schifino’s 3-pointer got the Hoosiers within two at 56-54 and then IU got a turnover and a bucket from Jackson-Davis to tie the game at 56 with 6:26 to play. After Illinois took a 59-56 lead, Indiana answered with a Miller Kopp 3-pointer to tie it at 59. Both teams could gain any separation and Illinois took a timeout with the game tied at 65 with 1:49 to play. Out of the timeout, Illinois turned it over which gave the Hoosiers possession with 1:41 remaining. Hood-Schifino turned it over, leading to a Coleman Hawkins bucket with 1:28 left. Hood-Schifino tied it at 67 with a pull-up jumper with 1:17 to play. Indiana then forced Ty Rodgers to turn it over and called timeout with 43.7 seconds to play. Out of the timeout, Rodgers fouled Hood-Schifino on a jumper with 30.7 seconds left to play. Hood-Schifino made both free throws to make it 69-67 Indiana. Illinois then used its final timeout with 27.6 seconds left. Hood-Schifino fouled Jayden Epps with 16.7 seconds left, but Epps missed the first free throw. Indiana then called its final timeout. Epps made the second to make it 69-68, but Jackson-Davis got a dunk on the other end to make it 71-68 with just under seven seconds to go. RJ Melendez had a clean look from the right wing, but missed it as Indiana won for the 19th time.
Jackson-Davis led Indiana with 26 points, 12 rebounds, five blocked shots and three steals in 37 minutes.
Statistics that stand out
Indiana’s second half defense rose to the occasion. The Hoosiers held Illinois to 30 points and just .833 points per possession.
Final IU individual statistics
Final tempo-free statistics
Assembly Call postgame show
Filed to: Illinois Fighting Illini