Indiana blows out Illini with big second half

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)

CHAMPAIGN—Yogi Ferrell scored 27 points and No. 18 Indiana used a huge second half to rout Illinois 74-47 on Thursday night.The Big Ten leaders trailed 28-27 at halftime, but Ferrell scored 19 second-half points and Indiana (23-6, 12-3) pulled away from the Illini (12-16, 4-11). Ferrell’s 3-pointer with 7:58 left put the Hoosiers up 56-37.Nick Zeisloft scored 14 for Indiana, and Thomas Bryant had 14 points and eight rebounds.Jalen Coleman-Lands led Illinois with 21 points.The Hoosiers held Illinois’ top two scorers, Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn, to a combined 13 points. Hill entered averaging 18.6 per game, and Nunn 16.4.The Hoosiers blew out Illinois with a barrage of second-half 3-pointers, going 10 for 17 from behind the arc over the final 20 minutes. They hit three in the first half.Ferrell’s 19 second-half points equaled the output of the entire Illini team. He finished 11 of 18 from the field, including 5 for 10 from 3-point range.One particular sequence illustrated what Ferrell means to the Hoosiers at both ends of the court. With just under 10 minutes left and the Illini trying to claw their way back into it, Nunn held the ball just outside the 3-point line as Illinois started to set up its offense.But before Nunn could even glance at a teammate, Ferrell scooted by him, swiped the ball from a stunned Nunn and broke to the other end of the court. Ferrell’s easy layup put the Hoosiers up 50-37.Just 2 minutes later, Ferrell sank a 3 that put the Hoosiers up 56-37 and silenced the arena – except for his own bench, which was whooping it up.Indiana took Illinois’ best weapon, Hill, all but out of the game. By halftime he’d taken a total of two shots, missing both.When he tried to force himself into it in the second half, the Hoosiers shut him down.With the Illini down by six with just under 17 minutes left, Hill drove toward the basket but found two Hoosiers between himself and the rim when he got there. The junior was forced to kick the ball out to a teammate, who missed his shot, and Illinois came away with nothing. Starting guard Robert Johnson missed the game with a sprained ankle. … The Hoosiers close the regular season with a pair of games against ranked teams, at No. 8 Iowa and at home against No. 10 Maryland. The only Illinois win over a ranked opponent this season was Jan. 10 against then-No. 20 Purdue. Since then the Illini have gone 3-8. Illinois is 1-5 against Top 25 teams this season. … Coleman-Lands was the only Illinois player who scored in double figures.Illinois closes out its home schedule Sunday against Minnesota.

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