Sunday, January 27, 2002

Indiana 88, No. 9 Illinois 57

17 3-pointers leave Hoosiers laughing

The Associated Press

        BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana's Dane Fife couldn't keep himself from laughing near the end of Saturday's game against No.9 Illinois.

        He had never seen the Hoosiers shoot so well from the outside in such a big game, and he had never anticipated such a lopsided victory over the Illini.

        Fife scored 20 points, and the Hoosiers set a school and Big Ten record with 17 3-pointers in an 88-57 victory over the Illini, their worst loss in more than a decade.

        “Basically, every time we shot, we were like "Let's go and get on back on defense, because we know it's going in,'” Fife said. “I was literally laughing at the end of the game. It was a strange feeling, but it was an amazing feeling.”

        Indiana (13-6, 6-1) couldn't have scripted it any better.

        The Hoosiers made baskets almost at will, hitting 51.6 percent of their shots and 63 percent of their 3-pointers. Illinois managed only two 3s — both coming in the game's final 85 seconds.

        They outrebounded the much taller Illini 42-34, and they took advantage of a raucous crowd, which broke into The Wave and chanted “over-rated” during the last 10 minutes as Illinois (15-5, 4-3) fell further and further behind.

        “This is what Indiana basketball is all about, playing good defense, getting open shots and having the fans behind you like this,” coach Mike Davis said. “The crowd was so great today, I was excited.”

        But it was what the Hoosiers did on the court that was so astounding.

        The Hoosiers decimated an Illini defense that had allowed opponents to make just 32.2 percent of their 3-pointers and a league-low 30.6 percent in conference play.

        Fife made six 3s, Kyle Hornsby five and Tom Coverdale four. Coverdale finished with 16 points, while Hornsby had 15. In the second half, it appeared that the Hoosiers' top three scorers were having their own shooting contest.

        “Hornsby had five, Coverdale had four or five, and (Jared) Jeffries had a couple,” Fife said, although Jeffries had just one 3-pointer. “It probably did look like a competition. We were on fire today.”

        Indiana took control with two gigantic runs — 20-6 near the end of the first half and 21-4 at the start of the second half and led by as many as 35 points.

        The defense was every bit as good, allowing just one basket — Cory Bradford's 10-foot runner on the Illini's opening score — from beyond seven feet until Luther Head's 3-pointer with 1:25 to play.

        Frank Williams, last year's Big Ten player of the year, scored 11 points, all in the first half.

        The 31-point margin was the worst loss for Illinois since Dec. 10, 1991 when it lost to Temple, and coach Bill Self thought it looked every bit as bad as the scoreboard indicated.

        “They dominated us,” Self said. “If they hadn't made the 3s, they still would have kicked our butts on the glass. They just dominated us.”

        The Hoosiers broke to an 18-9 lead when Coverdale, Fife and Hornsby combined for four 3s.

        Illinois closed to 24-23 with 9:56 left in the half, but the Hoosiers' shooters wouldn't allow them to get any closer.

        The 20-6 run gave them a 46-35 halftime lead, and they continued their shooting spree in the second half.

        Fife's 3-pointer with 17:58 to go ignited a 21-4 run that gave Indiana a 72-41 lead with 9:07 left. Illinois got within 30 just once after that.

        ILLINOIS (15-5, 4-3) — Ferguson 1-3 2-2 4, Cook 3-8 0-0 6, Archibald 3-7 1-4 7, Bradford 1-7 2-2 4, Williams 4-13 3-3 11, Young 0-0 0-0 0, Head 2-4 0-0 5, Johnson 2-3 0-0 4, Harrington 0-3 0-0 0, Howard 0-1 0-0 0, Krupalija 2-4 1-2 5, Powell 1-2 0-0 3, Smith 4-8 0-0 8. Totals 23-63 9-13 57.

        INDIANA (13-6, 6-1) — Jeffries 5-10 2-5 13, Odle 2-6 0-1 4, Coverdale 5-9 2-2 16, Fife 6-7 2-2 20, Hornsby 5-9 0-0 15, Moye 5-11 0-0 11, Leach 2-2 0-2 4, Perry 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Tapak 0-1 0-0 0, Newton 2-6 1-1 5. Totals 32-62 7-13 88.

        Halftime—Indiana 46-35. 3-point goals—Illinois 2-12 (Powell 1-1, Head 1-2, Williams 0-1, Harrington 0-1 Krupalija 0-1, Cook 0-3, Bradford 0-3), Indiana 17-27 (Fife 6-7, Hornsby 5-8, Coverdale 4-7, Jeffries 1-2, Moye 1-3). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Illinois 34 (Archibald 9), Indiana 42 (Jeffries 11). Assists—Illinois 8 (Cook, Harrington 2), Indiana 23 (Jeffries, Coverdale, Hornsby 5). Total fouls—Illinois 13, Indiana 14.


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