At the buzzer: Indiana 71, Illinois 68 – Inside the lobby

Quick thoughts on a 71-68 win over Illinois:

How did it happen

Indiana’s defense wasn’t up to snuff to start Saturday morning at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers did a decent job at the start of Matthew Mayer, but once the transfer from Baylor was launched he made the difference. With Terrence Shannon Jr. unavailable due to a concussion, Mayer went for 16 points in the first half. And while Trayce Jackson-Davis was an effective 5-on-6 on the court, Illinois changed their covers and made the All-American much more uncomfortable than the first meeting in Champaign. At 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 turnover points.

The Illini opened up a nine-point lead early in the second half, but Indiana cut the deficit to seven at 46-39 in the Under-16 media timeout. Neither team could generate much offense out of the timeout, but Indiana managed to clip another point off the lead to trail 50-44 with 10:48 remaining. A Jackson-Davis 3-point play on a fine assist from Miller Kopp drew Indiana into the three at 54-51 in the under-eight timeout. Out of timeout, Jackson-Davis turned it over and Luke Goode hit a long jumper to cut Illinois’ lead to five.

On IU’s next possession, Hood-Schifino’s 3-pointer put the Hoosiers within two at 56-54, then IU got a Jackson-Davis turnover and bucket to tie the game. the game at 56 with 6:26 to play. After Illinois took a 59-56 lead, Indiana responded with a Miller Kopp 3-pointer to tie the game at 59. Both teams could win any split and Illinois took a timeout. with the game tied at 65 with 1:49 to go. Outside of the timeout, Illinois turned it over, giving the Hoosiers possession with 1:41 remaining. Hood-Schifino turned it over, leading to a Coleman Hawkins bucket with 1:28 to go. Hood-Schifino tied it at 67 with a pull-up with 1:17 to go. Indiana then forced Ty Rodgers to return it and called a timeout with 43.7 seconds left. Outside of the timeout, Rodgers fouled Hood-Schifio on a jumper with 30.7 seconds left. Hood-Schifino made both free throws to make Indiana 69-67. 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 went 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 right wing, but missed it as Indiana won for the 19th time.

Outstanding performer

Jackson-Davis led Indiana with 26 points, 12 rebounds, five blocked shots and three steals in 37 minutes.

Statistics that stand out

Indiana’s defense in the second half rose to the occasion. The Hoosiers held Illinois to 30 points and just 0.833 points per possession.

Final Individual UI Stats

Final statistics without tempo

Assembly Call Post-Game Show

Filed at: Illinois Fighting Illini

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