Rapid Reaction: Illinois 79, Purdue 59

A quick look at Wednesday night's Illinois-Purdue matchup -- a 79-59 Illini victory.

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois snapped it's eight-game losing streak against Purdue, beating the Boilermakers 79-59 on Wednesday night.

The Illini (18-8, 5-7) had six players score at least eight points, paced by D.J. Richardson's 18. Tracy Abrams posted 13, Joe Bertrand had nine and Sam McLaurin, Myke Henry and Nnanna Egwu each chipped in eight.

Terone Johnson led Purdue (12-13, 5-7) with 18 points, joined in double figures by D.J. Byrd and A.J. Hammons, who scored 10 apeice.

It was over when: Purdue Coach Matt Painter had finally said enough. Already trailing 64-46 and frustrated, Painter lashed out at official Tim Clougherty after disagreeing with the way a Boilermakers offensive possession ended. Painter wanted a foul and let it be known. He ended up getting a foul – two technical fouls, actually. He was ejected, and Illini senior D.J. Richardson hit all four free throws to extend the lead and effectively end the game.

Player of the game: Tracy Abrams. The sophomore point guard looked as comfortable as he's been in Big Ten play, controlling the tempo and directing the offense. He had 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds as he seemingly had a hand in every opportunity on the offensive and defensive end.

Stat of the game: Second chance points. Illinois pulled down 20 offensive rebounds, which led to 23 second chance points.

"It wasn't like we were boxing out and they were beating us to the punch. We weren't even boxing out," Painter said.

Stat of the game 2: Assists. The Illini had 11 assists on 17 made baskets in the first half, finishing the game with 14 total assists. Purdue, meanwhile, managed only nine assists.

Stat of the game 2: Turnovers. Illinois limited mistakes, finishing with 11 turnovers for the game. Purdue had 17 turnovers, including 10 in the first half. That led to…

Stat of the game 3: Points off turnovers. Illinois scored 24 points off those Purdue missteps, as opposed to the Boilermakers' 12 points off turnovers.

The takeaway: This was a game the Illini were supposed to win, and they did what they supposed to do. The team is playing really well, as Wednesday was as a good a balanced display that Illinois has showcased all season long. The carryover from last week was evident on defense, too, as communication and effort were obvious both by the eye test and on paper. Illinois surprised many with big wins last week. This week, playing Purdue and Northwestern, was all about taking care of less flashy business and winning games that are supposed to be won. So far, Illinois is one for two.

Big Red Report Top Stories