Hoosiers hold off Illini in defensive battle
Hoosiers end two-game skid
Indiana 56, Illinois 46: Yogi Ferrell had 17 points and five assists as the Hoosiers pulled away from the visiting Illini in the final minutes.
Stanford Robinson added 10 points and Noah Vonleh grabbed 14 rebounds for Indiana (13-7, 3-4 Big Ten), which owned a 42-28 advantage on the boards. Troy Williams contributed eight points and Austin Etherington led the reserves with seven.
Rayvonte Rice scored 20 points to lead Illinois (13-8, 2-6). Nnanna Egwu was the next-highest scorer with eight points and Jaylon Tate finished with six points off the bench, all in the first half.
Illinois took the lead for the first time since the opening minutes on a 3-pointer by Jon Ekey about 2 1/2 minutes into the second half. Ferrell, who had been held to two points through that point of the game, made three straight baskets and then capped the 12-0 run with a 3-pointer for a 40-29 lead.
Joseph Bertrand ended an 0-for-7 start by making a layup that cut the deficit to three with 8:23 remaining. Bertrand would go on to miss shots on the next three possessions, however, and the Hoosiers were able to extend their lead back to nine on Jeff Howard’s tip with just under six minutes remaining.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Indiana F Will Sheehey was back in the starting lineup after missing Tuesday’s game against Michigan State with an ankle injury, replacing Etherington, who made his first career start against the Spartans. Sheehey finished with five points and nine rebounds. … Robinson’s other double-figure scoring games this season came against No. 3 Michigan State (11) and No. 8 Wisconsin (13). … Rice and Tate combined to shoot 7-for-10 in the first half but the rest of the Illini were a combined 2-for-18, allowing the Hoosiers to take a 26-24 lead into the break.
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