Illinois shot 22 of 30 at the foul line in the second half Wednesday night to earn its first Big 10 Conference win of the season, a come-from-behind, 73-71 victory over Indiana at State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.
Trent Frazier and Leron Black each scored 19 points for the Fighting Illini (11-11, 1-8 Big Ten). Kipper Nichole added 12, including a 3-pointer with 2:16 left that was Illinois’ only field goal in the final 10:55. Te‘Jon Lucas chipped in 11 points.
Juwan Morgan pumped in a game-high 28 points for the Hoosiers (12-9, 5-4), hitting 12 of 14 field-goal attempts and grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. Indiana’s Zach McRoberts scored 10 points.
Illinois took the lead for good with 11:41 left on Frazier’s layup that made it 53-51. The Illini owned an eight-point lead with 56 seconds remaining after two free throws by Lucas but nearly blew the lead, as it has in multiple conference losses.
Morgan’s three-point play with 40 seconds left pulled Indiana within three points, and a free throw by Devonte Green made it 73-71 with 8.3 ticks on the clock. Morgan fouled Frazier before the ball could be inbounded, but Frazier missed both free throws.
The Hoosiers could have forced overtime with a 2-pointer or won it with a 3-pointer, but Morgan couldn’t handle a bounce pass in the lane and Illinois’ Mark Alstork stole the ball with 0.1 seconds left to seal it.
The teams combined for 32 fouls and 51 free throws in a marathon second half.
Indiana scored on its first three possessions and led for all but 31 seconds of the first half. The Hoosiers established a 10-4 advantage just 2:57 into the game after Morgan converted a layup.
The lead never got to double figures, and Illinois was able to chop the deficit to 24-20 on a 3-pointer by Frazier. The Hoosiers were able to push the lead back to nine when Robert Johnson drilled a 3-pointer with 56 seconds remaining before the break, and they went to the half with a 38-32 advantage.
--Field Level Media