The No. 15 Illinois Fighting Illini (8-3, 4-1 Big Ten) defeated the Purdue Boilermakers (7-5, 2-3 Big Ten) after capitalizing on several scoring streaks throughout the game, Saturday night in Champaign.
Down 10 at half, Purdue had a strong start to the second 20 minutes behind the play of junior forward Trevion Williams. Through the end of of the first half into the second, Purdue outscored the Illini 19-0 to take a four-point lead.
Williams made two shots in the post and threw a highlight pass to freshman guard Brandon Newman to give the Boilers enough momentum to take their first lead since 14 minutes in the first half.
"(Williams) is a good player," head coach Matt Painter said. "We have to keep working with him on getting opportunities to score, whether he's getting put-backs, post-ups, or working in the paint."
Fouls and miscues gave the Illini the lead again, as they were able to use another scoring streak to knock down three big 3-point shots and working their way on the interior to give them a lead they never let up.
"We had good stretches and bad stretches," Painter said. "We have to replace our bad stretches with average stretches. We just don't have the awareness to create good possessions or have an offensive piece to take us out of bad stretches yet."
Williams talked about some of the reasons the Boilers were not able to extend streaks and keep the game's momentum in their favor.
"It's the little things," Williams said. "We were not executing plays, I had missed free throws on my end, and some missed layups. Once we clean those up, we should be ok."
The two star bigs in Williams and Illini sophomore center Kofi Cockburn continued their battle on the interior, finding points in the post and grabbing rebounds when their teams needed the most.
Williams scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Starters Williams and Brandon Newman led Purdue in scoring with 14. They were the only two Boilermakers in double figures. However, the other three starters combined for only 11 other points – Sasha Stefanovic (9 points), Mason Gillis (2) and Eric Hunter Jr. (0).
In addition to Cockburn's 14, Illinois had three other players in double figures including Ayo Dosunmo (12), Donte Williams (12) and Adam Miller (10). The Illini had two players with double-doubles with Cockburn and Williams both having 10 rebounds.
The Boilers committed 17 turnovers while Illinois had 12. The Illini outscored the Boilers 32-20 in the paint.
The Boilers return to action at 7 p.m., Tuesday when they host Nebraska. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
• Illinois shot 9 of 22 from the free throw line
• Illinois senior forward Da'Monte Williams is 19 of 28 from 3-point range in the season
• Two Purdue players ended up with zero points at the end of the game, going a combined 0-10 from the field
• Three (10-0, 10-0, 20-6) Illinois and one (19-0) Purdue scoring streak swung the game in many different directions
- Purdue fell to 7-5 overall and 2-3 in the Big Ten after falling to No. 15-ranked Illinois 66-58.
- The loss was Purdue’s second straight to a top-15 opponent on the road. The Boilermakers lost at No. 14-ranked Rutgers on Tuesday night. The two losses have come by a combined 13 points.
- Purdue now leads the all-time series 102-90. The margin of points in the 192 meetings is just 19 points (Purdue – 11,103; Illinois – 11,084).
- Matt Painter is now 17-10 all-time against the Illini.
- Matt Painter was coaching his 523rd game at Purdue, tying Ward “Piggy” Lambert for second on Purdue’s games coached list.
- Purdue was outrebounded for just the second time this season (39-33) and had just six offensive rebounds, resulting in five second-chance points.
- Brandon Newman scored 14 points with five rebounds.
- Trevion Williams tallied 14 points with eight rebounds and two assists. He has scored in double-figures in seven straight games.
- Sasha Stefanovic went 3-of-5 from long range and has made a 3-pointer in 13 straight games. He is now shooting 34-of-67 (.507) from 3-point range on the season.
– Purdue Athletics contributed to this report.
The Fighting Illini hold a 10-point lead against the Purdue Boilermakers after a slow-moving slugfest in the paint.
Illinois (record, Big Ten record) was able to pull off two 10-0 runs against Purdue (record, Big Ten record) after using their star players' size to bully the Boilers in the paint, giving them a lead they have not let go of. The Illini currently lead 33-23.
While Purdue was able to get a strong start in the game's first minutes, making three of its first four shots, a scoring slump kept it from pulling ahead for a comfortable lead against the Illini.
The battle between both team's star big men in junior forward Trevion Williams and Illinois center Kofi Cockburn was the story of the first half, with both bigs grinding players down in the post and grabbing crucial rebounds for their respective teams.
Williams ends the half leading the Boilers in scoring with 6 points while grabbing two rebounds, while Cockburn ends with 6 points and seven rebounds.
Freshman center Zach Edey was able to use his 7-foot-4 frame to make an impact in the paint as well, working his way around Cockburn for 4 points while grabbing four rebounds for the Boilers.
Freshman forward Mason Gillis took a hard hit after attempting to block a shot from senior forward Da'Monte Williams. He has not played since.