Hoosiers Fall at Illinois, 72-48
March 5, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Verdell Jones III scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a return to his hometown, but it wasn't enough as the Indiana men's basketball team fell at Illinois, 72-48, in the final game of the regular season.
Jones made 6-of-14 from the field, while adding two assists. Jordan Hulls broke IU's consecutive free throw record, set by Pat Graham during the 1990-91 season, at the 9:32 mark in the second half when he made his second free throw of the game. He extended the streak to 41, making 4-of-4 on the day.
"It started with transition defense and that was the biggest key to the game, especially with the way (Illinois) runs at home," said head coach Tom Crean. "From the very beginning we didn't get back and get things stopped the proper way."
Illinois (19-12, 9-9) came out strong in the first half, taking an early 23-9 lead over the Hoosiers (12-19, 3-15) with 11:02 to go in the stanza. Shooting 54.3 percent (19-of-35), the Illini took a 46-27 lead into the break. The second half was much of the same as the Hoosiers struggled from the floor, making 7-of-29 from the field.
On the game, IU shot 31.6 percent (18-of-57) from the field, but 81.8 percent (10-of-13) from the free throw line. Illinois won the battle on the boards, 41-28.
"You can try to defend better, and we didn't defend very well obviously, but when you're not making shots, you have no chance to get back into it," added Crean.
The Hoosiers head into the Big Ten Tournament for first round action on Thursday, March 10 from Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. A complete tournament bracket will be announced on Sunday, March 6.
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