Purdue 89, Illinois 58
INDIANAPOLIS -- After a feel-good upset on Thursday, Illinois (15-19) was bruised, battered and sent back home after an 89-58 beating at the hands of Purdue (25-7) in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
It was a matter of one team standing on the tracks with a powerful train coming through.
The Boilermakers were fresh and physically imposing at both ends from the very beginning. Purdue led by as many 44 in the second half of this drubbing, as they cruised to their fourth straight win.
The Boilers did anything and everything they wanted at the offensive end - shooting 58.3 percent from the field on the game and 48.1 percent from deep (13-of-27). Purdue also had 34 points in the paint. Five player scored in double figures with Isaac Haas leading the way with 16 points.
On the other side, things were rather miserable for the Illini offense - outside of a run in garbage time. Illinois had a 13-plus minute stretch between the end of the first half and the start of the second half in which they scored just six points.
Malcolm Hill (16 points) was the lone bright spot for the Illini when the game was in contention. Maverick Morgan (17) and Kendrick Nunn (13) also scored in double figures. The Orange and Blue shot 39.3 percent on the game, and they were just 4-of-18 from three.
Illinois kept things within single digits for the majority of the first 13 minutes. But after a three by Ryan Cline put Purdue up 32-21 with 6:19 left to go in the half, the Illini wouldn't get any closer. In fact, it only got much, much worse.
Purdue is just getting things started for a promising postseason run in this tournament and the one to follow. Illinois' long, and mostly painful, season has come to an end.
What it means
If they win against Michigan on Saturday, Purdue will be on their way to the Big Ten tournament championship game. The Boilers are clicking at the right time, and they will be a tough out in the NCAA tournament. On the Illinois side, this is the end of a mostly ugly and taxing season. The Illini close out the year with their lowest overall win total (15) since winning just 14 games in 1998-99. John Groce's team has talent, and they will bring a lot back next season. But they have to develop that in the off-season, add a fifth-year big and go to work on that 2017 class.
What went right
Hill became the first player in Illini history to have 600-plus points, 200-plus rebounds and 100-plus assists in a single season.
What went wrong
Just about everything.
Purdue was fresh, physical and they executed at a high level. Illinois was playing their third game in three days, and they ran out of their Big Ten tournament magic.
The Illini defense had absolutely no answer for Purdue. The Boilers worked the ball inside and out. They hit 13 threes and scored 34 points in the paint. Illinois tried to pack it in, but they couldn't stop them. They also gave up wide-open triples.
From the 8:47 mark of the first half to the 15:09 mark of the second half, Illinois scored six points. It was a 35-to-6 run for Purdue in 13 minutes and 48 seconds.
After scoring a team-high 17 points on Thursday, Jalen Coleman-Lands was held to just two points and he was 0-of-4 from deep. The Illini also didn't get much of anything from their bench, as Purdue outscored them 42-to-8 in bench points.
This was another ESPN embarrassment. Illinois was 0-5 playing on the main station this season, and they lost those five games by a combined total of 143 points (28.6 points per game).
Star of the game
Caleb Swanigan: "Biggie" was too big and strong for Illinois to handle, as he posted 11 points and 12 rebounds. This was Swanigan's ninth double-double of the season. Purdue's fabulous freshman is hitting his peak at the right time after scoring a career-high 27 points in the regular season finale.
Illinois will head back to Champaign and hang up the uniforms for the season. The Illini will go into off-season mode, and the staff has a big recruiting stretch ahead of them to build for the future. They are in a great spot already in the 2017 class, and they will make their push for five-star big man Jeremiah Tilmon to jump on board in the very near future.