No. 1 Illinois 84, Purdue 50
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP)—Dee Brown and Deron Williams put on a 3-point shooting clinic for top-ranked Illinois.
Brown scored a career-high 27 points and tied the school record with eight 3-pointers, and Williams added 21 points, 12 on 3-pointers, in Illinois’ 84-50 victory over Purdue on Thursday night.
The Illini (29-0, 15-0 Big Ten) were 15-of-27 from 3-point range, setting a school record for three-pointers in a season with 265—10 more than they had in 2001-02.
“They were just unconscious,” Purdue coach Gene Keady said. “That was a tremendous show of shooting ability.”
Brown had 24 points in the first half.
“My teammates screened for me. We had good ball movement,” Brown said. “Once I came off the screens, the rim just looked so (big) and I just continued to follow through and they went in.”
Purdue (7-19, 3-12), playing without injured leading scorer Carl Landry, got 12 points from Gary Ware and 10 from Matt Keifer.
The Illini celebrated their second consecutive conference championship by closing out the Boilermakers by halftime, building a 50-26 lead. Illinois won its 25th straight Big Ten game and 21st in a row at Assembly Hall.
The Illini raced to an 11-4 lead, and Purdue never got closer than five points after that. The Illini had a 21-0 run in the second half and led by as many as 44 points in handing Purdue its fourth straight loss.
Williams hit four 3-pointers and had six assists, including a show-stopping, behind-the-back delivery to Warren Carter for a dunk with 1:04 to go in the first half.
Luther Head added 11 points for Illinois.
Brown was 8-of-10 from 3-point range and 9-of-12 from the field overall.
He missed his first shot of the night, but was unstoppable after that.
Brown hit two straight 3s as the Illini opened a 9-4 lead. Two more 3s in a row, gave the Illini a 32-16 lead and two more at the end of the first half made it 50-26.
After the game, the Illinois cut down the nets to celebrate their second consecutive Big Ten championship.
“This was one of our goals,” Illini coach Bruce Weber told the crowd. “But we still have some unsettled business.”
Illinois will finish its regular-season schedule Sunday at Ohio State.