The Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 79-59, in Champaign on Wednesday.
The Illini snapped an eight game losing streak against the Boilermakers. They have not beaten Purdue since the 2008-09 season. They also snapped a three losing streak against Purdue at Assembly Hall.
Purdue came into last night’s contest as the best rebounding team in the Big Ten. They were averaging 40.2 rebounds per game. However, Illinois greatly out-rebounded Purdue, 40-29. Joseph Bertrand led the Fighting Illini off the bench with 12 rebounds. Also, they held one of the Big Ten’s best rebounders, A.J. Hammons, to four rebounds.
Tyler Griffey and D.J. Richardson led the charge for the second straight game. Richardson led the team with 18 points and Griffey added 12 points off the bench.
It looks like Tyler Griffey has started to regain the hot play in which he started the season with. Ever since the upset win over Indiana, Griffey has scored in double-figures and is averaging 6.0 rebounds per game.
This game was nothing less than a blowout for the Fighting Illini. Illinois shot the ball better than they did in the first meeting this season. They also controlled the glass in this game.
Purdue’s head coach, Matt Painter, was very frustrated in the game. Late in the second half, Painter earned himself a double technical and was ejected from the game.
Illinois finished with four players in double-figures. These players were Tyler Griffey, D.J. Richardson, Tracy Abrams, and Joseph Bertrand.
Richardson led the team with 18 points. He went 4-of-11 from the field and earned eight points from the charity stripe.
Griffey went 5-of-10 from the field and scored 12 points in 19 minutes. He grabbed six rebounds, but he went 0-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Two players that also did more than score for Illinois were Bertrand and Abrams. Bertrand led the team with 12 rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench.
Tracy Abrams played more of a distributor role on Wednesday. He led the team with seven assists while scoring 13 points. Abrams had to wear #12 for most of the game because he got some blood on his #13 jersey.
One player that struggled for Illinois was Brandon Paul. Paul only scored three points in 22 minutes. This was possibly his worst game of the season as he went 1-of-6 from the field.
Purdue seemed outplayed by the Fighting Illini on Wednesday. However, their leading scorer in the game was Terone Johnson. He went 5-of-11 from the field, hauled in four rebounds, and scored a team-high 18 points.
This was yet another big with for the Fighting Illini. Every win from here on out will only boost the team’s tournament resume. Illinois is getting great play from numerous players. Yes, Paul struggled on Wednesday night, but this will not last and the Illini will be a dangerous team when he gets back to stride.
The Fighting Illini are now 18-8 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten.
Their next game will be against the Northwestern Wildcats on February 17th. The Wildcats beat the Illini, 68-54, in their first meeting this year. They are 13-11 overall and 4-7 in the Big Ten.
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