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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

IU men’s basketball falls to Illinois 67-66 in last minute to end road schedule

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – IU men’s basketball came up short late in a 67-66 loss to Illinois on Sunday afternoon to wrap up its road schedule.

The loss puts IU at 18-11 overall and 8-10 in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers are now on a two-game losing streak since the win over then-No. 9 Penn State.

IU was close with Illinois throughout the first half. Senior guard Devonte Green had a pair of 3-pointers, while freshman forward Trayce Jackson-Davis controlled the paint with 10 points and five rebounds.

The Hoosiers took advantage on the glass with six offensive rebounds to give themselves extra possessions. Four of Jackson-Davis’ five rebounds came on the offensive end. He helped limit Illinois freshman center Kofi Cockburn to only two rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

After IU and Illinois were tied at 36 apiece at halftime, IU head coach Archie Miller made a change. For the first time this season, he put a different starting lineup on the court to start the second half. Sophomore forward Race Thompson started in place of junior center Joey Brunk, next to Jackson-Davis. 

Thompson only had two points in the game but was tasked with defending Cockburn as well. He also had a pair of offensive rebounds. But it was redshirt freshman guard Jerome Hunter who gave the Hoosiers the lead in the second half after they allowed the Fighting Illini to go on a run.

Hunter hit back-to-back 3-pointers in opposite corners to give IU the one-point lead. It was the first time since Feb. 8 against Purdue that Hunter made more than one 3-pointer in a game.

When Green converted an and-one layup with 9:27 remaining, he gave IU a two-point lead. This also snapped a streak of 20 straight missed two-point field goal attempts for Green. The basket was his first made non-3-point field goal in the month of February. 

But the field goal from Green was the last points IU would score for a while. Illinois went on a 7-0 run over a span of roughly three minutes to retake the lead. 

Cockburn dominated the second half for the Fighting Illini after only scoring three points to go with two rebounds in the first 20 minutes. He finished the game with 15 points and five rebounds. 

A 3-pointer by junior guard Al Durham pulled IU within two points before Illinois sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu made one of his own on the following possession. It gave Illinois a five-point lead with 1:27 remaining. 

Sophomore guard Rob Phinisee then had a 3-pointer himself to make it a two-point game. After Jackson-Davis missed a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left, Phinisee grabbed the offensive rebound to give IU an opportunity to tie or take the lead.

That was until he tripped, and Illinois was able to steal the ball from him to put the game to rest. Jackson-Davis finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Durham led IU with 13 points.

The next game for IU will be Wednesday against Minnesota at home. The Hoosiers won the first matchup Feb. 19 on the road by 12 points.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled the name of Illinois sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu. The IDS regrets this error.

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