BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Illinois coach Brad Underwood challenged his defense at halftime. The 12th-ranked Fighting Illini responded like champions.
Trent Frazier scored Illinois’ final 10 points in regulation and put the Illini ahead with a free throw in overtime, and the defense took care of the rest in a 75-71 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night.
“It was the first time in a while I’ve been really, really upset with my basketball team at halftime. Giving up 41 points in the first half is not real conducive to winning on the road. We looked lost. It was just real lethargic and they whipped us (inside).”
Trent Frazier finished with 19 points and Kofi Cockburn added 16 points and 10 rebounds. But Illinois wouldn’t have won its third straight — or for the first time since 2010 on the Hoosiers’ home court — without a suffocating defense.
Illinois gave up only two baskets over the final 11 1/2 minutes and only one basket and three points in overtime. Which started with the Illini taking charges on Indiana’s first two possessions.
“I think we won the ballgame because of our offense but on defense, it was huge, huge in overtime.”
Trayce Jackson-Davis had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Hoosiers (9-8, 4-6), who have dropped two straight. Race Thompson added 18 points and eight rebounds as he helped stake Indiana to a 64-58.
Frazier tied the score with back-to-back 3-pointers and gave Illinois a 68-66 lead by making four free throws. Indiana tied it on Armaan Franklin’s layup with 30.5 seconds left in regulation UFA.
One free throw from Frazier in overtime was all Illinois’ defense needed.
“We had some reluctant shooters at times, we had a couple of charges,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “Free throws continue to be a bugaboo, 23 of 34 for our team.”