Illini Survive Rally
March 12, 2004
Indianapolis, Ind. - Despite a gutsy effort highlighted by a furious late-game rally, eighth-seeded Indiana fell to top-seeded Illinois, 71-59 Friday in quarterfinal action at the Big Ten Tournament played at Con
The Hoosiers finish the season with a 14-15 overall record, with the No. 12/13 Illini moving to 23-5.
For the second consecutive game, Mark Johnson stepped up for the Hoosiers, scoring a team-high 16 points and matching an Indiana Big Ten Tournament record with four three-pointers. A.J. Moye scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds, with Bracey Wright adding 12 points and four boards. Illinois was led by the duo of Luther Head and Deron Williams, who scored 29 points and 20 points, respectively.
The Illini raced out to a 14-5 lead to start the game, but Indiana responded with a 10-0 run by holding Illinois scoreless for over five minutes midway through the first half to take a 15-14 lead. However, Illinois answered with a 14-2 run of its own to create some breathing room and eventually go into the locker room at halftime with a 28-21 advantage.
The second half was more of the same, with the Illinois lead swelling to 45-32 with 10:14 remaining in the game. The Hoosiers answered with a 22-9 run, fueled by seven points from Johnson. After a pair of free throws from George Leach tied the game at 54-54 with 4:53 remaining, Head and Williams went to work. The duo combined to score 16 points in the final 4:40 to seal the Illini win.
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