Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Tracy Abrams scored 25 points to lead
the Illinois Fighting Illini to a 64-54 win over the Indiana Hoosiers in
first-round action of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Rayvonte Rice added 13 points for the ninth-seeded Illini (19-13), who will
advance to take on top-seeded Michigan in the quarterfinal round on Friday.
Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points and Will Sheehey added 13 points for the eighth-
seeded Hoosiers (17-15), who stayed close with the Illini, but couldn't get
over the hump in the second half.
Down 38-33 early in the second half, the Illini went on a 15-2 run to take the
lead. Ekey's three-pointer with 8:42 left capped the surge and gave Illinois a
Indiana remained within striking distance the rest of the way, but could never
take the lead. Austin Etherington hit a layup with 3:13 left to draw the
Hoosiers within 53-52, but after the Illini came up empty on the other end,
Noah Vonleh attempted a jumper but was blocked by Nnanna Egwu at the 2:32 mark
that would've given Indiana the lead.
Tracy Abrams responded with a three-pointer for Illinois with 2:06 left to
extend the lead back to two possessions, 56-52. He then hit a pair of free
throws with 1:19 left to make it a six-point game, 58-52.
Illinois hit four more free throws down the stretch before Indiana got its
next bucket to ice the win.
Kendrick Nunn ended with 10 points for Illinois, which outscored Indiana 11-2
to end the game.
Illinois jumped out to a 9-0, but Indiana responded with a 14-2 run, capped by
a Ferrell three-pointer with 10:38 left. Play remained close the rest of
the half, with Illinois carrying a 30-28 lead into the break.
Troy Williams had 11 points for Indiana.
Illinois faces top-seeded Michigan in today's quarterfinals. Coverage of the game can be heard on Newstalk 97.3 WTIM with pre-game at 10:30am.