At the Buzzer: Illinois 70, Indiana 62

  • 01/27/2024 5:24 pm in

Quick thoughts on a 70-62 loss at Illinois:

How it happened

With a week off to prepare, Indiana got off to a strong start on Saturday afternoon at the State Farm Center. The Hoosiers led by as many as eight points as Illinois got off to a rough start from the perimeter. Kel’el Ware (ankle) was unavailable, so Mike Woodson went with Anthony Walker rather than Payton Sparks and put Xavier Johnson back in the lineup instead of Gabe Cupps. Johnson responded with a solid half, scoring eight points in 16 minutes. Malik Reneau was also terrific in the opening half, putting up 14 points and four rebounds in 18 minutes. But the Illini made their final three triples of the half to open a 38-30 in the closing minutes. Indiana did score the last four points of the half to make it 38-34, but a technical was given to Johnson for throwing the ball to Coleman Hawkins, who was standing out of bounds and not looking, just before the teams went to the locker room.

A 7-0 run helped Indiana regain the lead at 43-42 at the 15:32 mark on a pair of free throws by Reneau. The run stretched to 11-0 on a Mackenzie Mgbako offensive rebound and putback with 14:52 remaining. Another bucket from Reneau stretched it to 49-42 Hoosiers with 12:43 left, forcing Brad Underwood to take a timeout. The 13-0 IU run ended with a 3-pointer from Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn with 12:13 to play. By the under-eight media timeout, the run for Illinois reached 11-1 as the Illini led 53-50 on a Marcus Domask jumper. After Illinois stretched the lead to five with 5:43 to play at 57-52, the Hoosiers got within two at 58-56 after an Anthony Leal layup. Just before the under-four media timeout, Reneau picked up his fifth foul with 3:01 remaining. After Domask gave Illinois a four-point cushion at 62-58 with a tough jumper, Mackenzie Mgbako found Anthony Walker for a bucket and an Anthony Leal blocked shot on Justin Harmon set up a possession where Mgbako tied the game at 62 on a long 2 with 1:29 to go.

Indiana fouled Terrence Shannon Jr. with 1:03 to play and he made both free throws. Johnson was fouled with 54 seconds to play and missed both free throws. With 31 seconds to go, Harmon’s bucket stretched the lead to 66-62 and IU took a timeout. Mgbako missed a 3-pointer on the next possession, which sealed the victory for the Illini.

Standout performers

Reneau finished with 21 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes, Johnson added 14 points and Mgbako had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Johnson, however, was just 2-for-7 from the free throw line.

Statistics that stand out

Indiana shot a dismal 12-for-22 from the free throw line and 0-for-9 on 3s. It was the first time since Feb. 25, 2010 that the Hoosiers didn’t make a 3-pointer in a game.

Final IU individual statistics

Final tempo-free statistics

Assembly Call postgame show

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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