Indiana knocked off No. 1 seed Illinois and all but assured itself of a trip to the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Indiana won on Friday afternoon at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis by a final score of 65-63.
Illinois led at halftime 33-31. The Hoosiers were led in the game by Trayce Jackson-Davis with 21 points. Xavier Johnson had 13 points and 6 assists, and Race Thompson had 10 points and 9 rebounds.
IU (20-12) will face Iowa on Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Jackson-Davis does it again. Indiana big man Trayce Jackson-Davis had 15 second half points and beat his nemesis Kofi Cockburn in the process. The Hoosier big man struggled at times with Illinois double-teams and digs, turning it over three times. But in the last 4:41 he scored 9 points including two clutch free throws and a jump shot. His late run came right as Illinois had pulled out to 3-point lead.
2. Defense steady all day. Indiana held Illinois to 35.7 shooting on the day. The Illini were never able to get on a good run, and IU held them to just 12-of-34 from 2-point range. Illinois players not named Kofi Cockburn were 4-of-21 from 2-point range. Illinois had four turnovers in the last 4:23.
3. IU’s guards vs. Illinois guards. The Illinois guards dominated the first meeting, but they were matched on Friday by Indiana in a physical grinder of a game. Illinois’ guard trio of Trent Frazier, Alfonzo Plummer, and Andre Curbelo were just 7-of-29 from the field. Indiana didn’t have Rob Phinisee in the first meeting, but his defensive presence was a factor, along with Trey Galloway, who also added eight points with two assists on the offensive end.
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