Richardson Named Big Ten Player of the Week
Feb. 11, 2013
Senior guard D.J. Richardson was named Big Ten Player of Week today after leading the Fighting Illini to a pair of wins over Top 20 teams, including a thriller over No. 1 Indiana Thursday night. Richardson shared this week's honor with Wisconsin's Ben Brust.
Richardson had a game-high 23 points against the top-ranked Hoosiers, including 15 in the second half as the Illini erased a 14-point deficit to knock off No. 1 for just the third time in school history. With the Illini trailing 70-62 with under four minutes to play, Richardson scored eight consecutive points in just over two minutes to tie the game at 70 and then stole the ball from Indiana's Victor Oladipo with five seconds left to set the stage for Tyler Griffey's heroics in the final seconds.
The Peoria, Ill., native then had 13 points on Sunday at No. 18 Minnesota as the Fighting Illini defeated their second straight Top 20 opponent. For the week, Richardson averaged 18.0 points and 2.5 steals per game and shot 50 percent from the field (12-of-24) and 54 percent from behind the arc (7-of-13).
It's first career Big Ten Player of the Week honor for Richardson and the third for an Illini this season. Brandon Paul was named Big Ten and National Player of the Week on Dec. 10 after his 35-point performance in a win at Gonzaga and Tracy Abrams took home conference honors on Dec. 31 following his 27-point game in the victory over Auburn at the United Center.
Richardson and the Fighting Illini (17-8, 4-7) return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 13, when Purdue comes to Assembly Hall (8 pm CT, BTN). Tickets for remaining Illinois home games are available by calling 1-866-ILLINI-1 or online.