Hoosiers No Match For Illini

Indiana is leaving Champaign with a damaged psyche and an injured player. In a start that was reminiscent of the debacle last month in Kentucky, Illinois scored 21 of the game's first 23 points and ultimately whipped the Hoosiers 76-45 in Champaign...

Indiana is leaving Champaign with a damaged psyche and an injured player.

In a start that was reminiscent of the debacle last month in Kentucky, Illinois scored 21 of the game's first 23 points and ultimately whipped the Hoosiers 76-45 in Champaign.

As if the beating on the scoreboard wasn't bad enough, the Hoosiers also lost leading scorer Devan Dumes to a sprained right ankle. Dumes – who didn't start for disciplinary reasons after being late for the team bus – was injured at the 13:29 mark of the first half when he landed on the foot of Richard Semrau. Dumes was helped to the locker room and eventually returned at the start of the second half on crutches and with his ankle heavily iced.

Dumes is expected to undergo an MRI when the team returns to Bloomington tonight.

Dumes' absence didn't help, the Hoosiers were clearly no match for the Illini, who made 9-of-14 from behind the 3-point arc in the first half alone to help them open a 45-20 lead. Five of those 3-pointers came from Trent Meachum, who had 15 of his game-high 21 points in the opening half. All of Meachum's points came courtesy the 3-pointer, as he finished 7-of-9 from deep.

"We never matched their intensity or toughness from the word go," IU Coach Tom Crean said. "You have to set the tone right away, and we don't understand how to do that, and they did. It was a snowball effect from there."

Indiana didn't have any answers. In the first half the Hoosiers turned the ball over 10 times, missed all four of their 3-point attempts and made only 9-of-27 shots overall. Nick Williams' scored half of the team's first half points, while the rest of the team combined to go just 5-of-19 from the floor.

The second half didn't get any better for the Hoosiers, who lost their sixth straight to fall to 5-10 overall and 0-3 in the Big Ten. On the half's opening play Illinois' Chester Frazier was fouled while converting an alley-oop lay-up, extending the lead to 28. The Illini would eventually push the lead to as many as 37 before settling for the 31-point win. It was the Hoosiers' most lopsided loss ever in the series, exceeding the 29-point spread in a 35-6 loss in 1914.

Williams led the Hoosiers with 12 points, while Verdell Jones added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists in his return to his hometown. Jones did commit six of IU's 19 turnovers, helping the Illini to a 31-6 edge in points off turnovers.

Considering the reshaping of the Indiana roster at the start of the season, most knew Indiana would have games like the one it went through Saturday. While these sort of results don't sit well with Crean, he said it's something that the program had to go through moving forward.

"This (program) had to be gutted – there was no way around it," Crean said. "We're living through it now. No one could have imagined it would feel like this. I couldn't, but it does. We're all in it together, and we're going to get right back at it and get ready to play."

There could be some more difficult results to live through during the season's next two months, as IU still must travel to places such as Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin. But Crean continues to emphasize to his team that he won't accept a losing approach from his players in the games, no matter what the score.

"I told the team at the eight-minute timeout that we might not win the game, but the first guy that's playing like we've lost the game is not only not staying in the game, he's not going to Ohio State (on Tuesday)," Crean said. "We're not going to accept, at any point in time, not doing the right thing. Unfortunately, that's one of the main reasons this place was gutted. The clean up process is well underway. But it doesn't mean it's easier."

Pritchard 4-11 0-2 8, Taber 1-5 0-0 2, Roth 0-1 0-0 0, Jones 4-10 1-2 10, Williams 5-11 2-2 12, Moore 2-4 0-0 4, Finkelmeier 0-0 0-0 0, Gambles 1-1 0-0 2, Barnett 0-0 0-0 0, Lewis 0-1 0-0 0, Dumes 0-0 0-0 0, Story 3-6 0-0 7, Jobe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 3-6 45.

Davis 4-7 4-4 12, Tisdale 1-2 0-0 2, Meachum 7-10 0-0 21, Frazier 1-1 1-1 3, McCamey 5-8 0-0 12, Jordan 1-2 0-0 2, Chisholm 0-1 0-0 0, Keller 4-6 4-4 15, Brock 1-5 0-0 2, Cole 0-2 0-0 0, Legion 1-6 2-4 5, Jackson 1-1 0-0 2, Semrau 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-51 11-13 76.

3-Pointers: Indiana 2-6 (Jones 1-2, Story 1-2, Roth 0-1, Williams 0-1). Illinois 13-25 (Meachum 7-9, Keller 3-4, McCamey 2-4, Legion 1-5, Chisholm 0-1, Brock 0-1, Cole 0-1). Assists: Indiana 9 (Jones 3), Illinois 17 (McCamey 4, Jordan 4). Turnovers: Indiana 19, Illinois 9. Blocks: Indiana 2, Illinois 9. Steals: Indiana 4, Illinois 11. Halftime Score: Illinois 45, Indiana 20.

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