West Lafayette, Ind. — It’s nearly impossible to win Big Ten road games in 2020. Now, the Illini have done it twice — and swept a season series with Purdue for the first time since 2009.
The Illini (13-5, 5-2) entered Mackey Arena on Tuesday night and outlasted the Boilermakers (10-9, 3-4), 79-62.
Trent Frazier led the Illini to another strong first half with two back-to-back threes to give the Illinois a comfortable lead to start. Brad Underwood once again schemed the Illini to pressure Purdue down low with Cockburn, who struggled getting the ball straight to the basket but otherwise had a productive half finishing with nine points. Ayo Dosunmu struggled to find lanes and end the half as a non-factor.
The momentum changed after an egregious technical foul against Alan Griffin. The sophomore stepped on Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic eight minutes into the game, giving the Boilermakers a chance to get even with the Illini. The Boilermakers went on a 5-0 run after the foul and traded blows for the rest of the half, heading to the locker rooms with a 30-29 lead.
The Illini matched their hot first half start with another in the second half. Illinois went on a 11-2 run, thanks to some big threes from Giorgi Bezhanishvilli and Frazier. Despite some poor shootings, Dosunmu continued to be a facilitator feeding Frazier and hounding after rebounds.
Illinois never took its foot off the pedal. Dosunmu closed out the game like he has against Big Ten teams and the Illini won 79-62 behind his first-career double-double.
Moments that Mattered
Technical Call: Alan Griffin made a Freshman Move™️ when he stepped on Stefanovic. Griffin took any momentum that the Illini had in the first half with a terrible technical. Griffin will probably spend the rest of the season coming off the bench after that kind of play.
Ayo Pass Under the Basket: One of the best momentum plays of the second half was Ayo’s highlight pass to Feliz under the basket. Ayo was a key facilitator and kept the Illini offense from falling into a scoring drought.
You Gotta See This
"That's just absolutely ridiculous, uncalled for and he should be gone."— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020
Illinois' Alan Griffin was ejected after stepping on a Purdue player. pic.twitter.com/LzG9GWqkap
Tweet of the Game
The Illini stay on the road and travel to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan (11-6, 2-4) next Saturday. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. CT and will be televised on FS1.