Men's Basketball
Postgame Notes - Illinois vs. Indiana (Big Ten Tournament First Round)

Tracy Abrams had a season-high 25 points in the win, two shy of equaling his career-high.
Tracy Abrams had a season-high 25 points in the win, two shy of equaling his career-high.

March 13, 2014

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Illinois Big Ten Tournament First Round Postgame Notes

Illinois 64, Indiana 54
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind. // March 13, 2014

1. Illinois advances to the quarterfinals vs. top-seeded and eighth-ranked Michigan. The Illini and Wolverines met just once during the regular season, an 84-53 loss for Illinois on Senior Day in Champaign (March 4).

2. Illinois has won five of its last six games, with four of the five wins coming away from home (three on the road and one neutral site).

3. With the win, the Illini are now 6-2 against Indiana in Big Ten Tournament games and 5-1 in first round games. The all-time series between Illinois and Indiana is now tied at 86.

4. Illinois has the second-most wins (25) and second-best winning percentage (.641) in Big Ten Tournament history behind only Ohio State. The Illini are 9-9 as a lower seed in the tournament.

5. Illinois (40.0 percent) shot better than Indiana (35.3 percent), making the Illini 13-0 this season and 26-1 overall under head coach John Groce when outshooting their opponent.

6. Junior guard Tracy Abrams had a season-high 25 points, just two shy of matching his career-high. Abrams hit 8-of-16 from the field, 2-of-5 from three and 7-of-9 from the line while also adding seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in 37 minutes.

7. Junior center Nnanna Egwu was a force defensively, equaling his career-high with five blocked shots while also pulling down seven rebounds. Egwu has 71 blocked shots this season, the second-best single-season total in school history behind Derek Holcomb's school record 86 in 1979. Egwu's career total of 140 blocks ranks fifth on the UI career list, six behind fourth-place James Griffin (1979-82).

8. The Illini led 30-28 at halftime, improving to 11-3 this season and 30-6 under Groce when leading at the half.

9. Illinois is 8-1 in day games this season (tip before 5 p.m.). The only daytime loss came on Jan. 26 at Indiana.

10. A Game of Runs: The Illini started the game on a 9-0 run over the first 5:41. Later, they used an 11-0 in the second half to take control of the game, turning a 38-33 deficit with 13:53 left into a 44-38 lead at the 10:06 mark. They then put the game way by scoring 11 of the game's final 13 points after the Hoosiers closed to 53-52 with 2:13 remaining.

11. After allowing the Hoosiers to hit 6-of-10 threes in the first half, the Illini defense tightened up and held Indiana to 0-of-10 from behind the arc in the second half. The Orange and Blue forced 16 IU turnovers, turning those mistakes into 22 points on the offensive end, and limited Big Ten Freshman of the Year Noah Vonleh to just 6 points on 3-of-9 shooting.