BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, Jalen Hood Schifino made two free throws with 30.7 seconds left, and No. 14 Indiana rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to beat Illinois 71-68 on Saturday.
Hood-Schifino had 13 points for the Hoosiers (19-8, 10-6 Big Ten), who have won nine of 11 overall and 15 straight on their homecourt. Jackson-Davis also passed coach Mike Woodson for fifth on Indiana’s career scoring list with 2,081 points.
Michael Mayer scored 24 to lead the Fighting Illini (17-9, 8-7), who were without injured leading scorer Terrence Shannon. Jayden Epps, who scored 12 points, could have tied the game with two free throws with 16.7 seconds to go but missed the first and Jackson-Davis sealed the victory with a breakaway dunk after the second shot.
Just minutes after the NCAA Tournament selection team projected the Hoosiers as a preliminary 13-seed, Illinois opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take a 46-37 lead. The Illini were still up 48-39 with 12:41 to go before Jackson-Davis finally responded with three straight baskets. The third was a three-point play that cut the deficit to 52-49 with 8:46 remaining and 2 1/2 minutes later, he tied the score with a layup.
Indiana tied the score six more times over the final 6 1/2 minutes before Hood-Schifino finally broke it with the free throws.
Illinois: Coach Brad Underwood’s team has the Big Ten’s highest road win total over the past four seasons. But this year, the conference calculation has been simple. When they give up fewer than 70 points, they win. When they give up more than 70, they lose. And with Jackson-Davis playing so well, Illinois’ fate was predictable.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have been unbeatable at home this season and weren’t about to let their outside chance at winning a conference crown slip away at Assembly Hall. If Indiana can replicate its second-half performance next week on the road, it will have a chance to meet lofty preseason expectations.
Even though Indiana’s rally came up just short at Northwestern on Wednesday, the Hoosiers shouldn’t lose much — if any ground — in this week’s rankings after Saturday’s win and a season sweep of Illinois.
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Shannon did not make the trip because he is in the concussion protocol. The senior had started each of Illinois’ first 25 games and is the only player from a Power Five school to average at least 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals.
Illinois: Begins a two-game homestand Monday against Minnesota.
Indiana: Faces a crucial contest Tuesday at Michigan State in the Spartans’ first home game since the fatal campus shooting.
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