Illinois 51, Indiana 49
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)—Deron Williams scored all 12 of his points in the second half and Nick Smith hit two long jumpers late in the game, helping Illinois rally for a 51-49 victory Tuesday over Indiana.
The Illini (14-5, 5-3 Big Ten) entered the game as the Big Ten’s highest-scoring team but hardly resembled it against the Hoosiers. Illinois shot just 39 percent from the field and was just 2-of-16 from 3-point range. Roger Powell led the Illini with 15 points.
A.J. Moye had 14 points and Marshall Strickland 12 for Indiana (11-8, 5-3), which shot a dismal 15 percent from the field in the second half and lost its second straight game.
Indiana still had two chances to win in the final seconds, but Bracey Wright’s first 3-pointer was blocked and his heave from near midcourt was off the mark.
The Illini overcame a 20-point first half, which tied their worst total of the season, and won despite tying a season-low for points. Illinois scored 20 points in the first half Jan. 10 against Purdue and had 51 points in a loss to Providence on Dec. 9.
Illinois missed two free throws in the final 24 seconds that would have sealed the win, and Indiana blew a 46-38 lead it had with 9:26 to go.
Williams’ burst to open the second half and an Indiana scoring drought of nearly five minutes kept Illinois close.
Smith took care of the rest. His 19-footer with 3:28 left gave Illinois its first lead, 49-48, and after Indiana’s Sean Kline tied the score by making 1-of-2 free throws, Smith answered with a 17-footer with 2:41 to go. Neither team scored again.