Illini grade vs. Indiana: A
Here's the scoop from the UI's 64-54 win against Indiana at the Big Ten tournament (check out the N-G cover here):
Player of the game
Tracy Abrams, Illinois
Junior picked the perfect time to have his best game of the season. After recent offensive struggles, he finished with 25 points. His offensive run midway in the second half helped Illinois overcome a deficit and sparked the Illini to a quarterfinal berth.
Illinois A, Indiana D+
Rayvonte Rice didn’t let foul trouble cause him many problems. The Centennial product finished with 13 points and three rebounds. Kendrick Nunn continued his solid recent play with 10 points. Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson missed 14 of 18 shots from the field.
Illinois B, Indiana B
Nnanna Egwu struggled with his shooting, missing 7 of 8 shots. But he was a force on defense with five blocks and pulled down seven rebounds. Noah Vonleh missed 3 of 9 shots an d couldn’t give senior Will Sheehey enough help.
Illinois C+, Indiana D
John Groce used a short bench, with Jon Ekey the only sub to score. His two three-pointers were big. And he did the little things that he has become famous for, tipping loose balls to teaammates and hitting the court to try to gain a possession. Hoosiers got just four points from their backups.
Illinois A, Indiana C
The all-time series is now tied 86-86. More importan for the Illini, they are 6-2 against the Hoosiers in the Big Ten tournament. Indiana did a poor job handling the ball and the Illini took advantage of the mistakes, which is why they live to play another day. Don’t be surprised if Illinois gives Michigan a game.