Rapid Reaction: Illinois Stuns Indiana

A quick look at Illinois win over No. 1 Indiana on Thursday night.

CHAMPAIGN - Tyler Griffey hit a layup at the buzzer as Illinois upset No. 1 Indiana 74-72 Thursday night.

It was over when: Griffey broke wide open to the basket and Brandon Paul found him with an in-bounds pass. Griffey converted the easy basket, capping off a 25-10 run to give the Illini the win.

Player of the game: Griffey. Who else could it be? Griffey's basket at the end of the game provided for the moment of the year (to this point). But this game was more than just one, critical shot. Griffey hit a three-pointer for the first time since the Purdue game Jan. 2. He scored in double figures for the first time since the Missouri game Dec. 22. And he logged a season-high 31 minutes, an indicator he regained the trust of Coach John Groce. Griffey finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Don't forget: D.J. Richardson's eight consecutive points to tie the game at 70. Trailing by eight, Richardson hit two 3s and a 15-foot jumper to set up the Illini's epic finish. The senior guard finished with a game-high 23 points and three steals.

Stat of the game: Points off turnovers. Illinois scored 28 points following 14 Hoosiers' turnovers. In turn, Indiana managed just 16 points stemming from 10 Illini gaffes.

The takeaway: This was the kind of moment, the kind of statement Illinois needed. Having lost six of the last seven, Illinois looked to be headed for another loss in the Big Ten. Trailing 62-49, seniors Griffey, Richardson and Paul led the comeback and finished the upset. This furthers what we all already knew -- Illinois can beat elite teams. Wins over Gonzaga and Butler seem a long time ago and the frustrating play in the Big Ten erased the positive feelings those out-of-conference wins created. Thursday showed if the Illini shoot well, and the senior corps plays up to it's ceiling, wins over teams like Indiana are possible. The goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament is within reach. Six wins in the next eight games will all but assure it.

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