2013 Big Ten matchup – Illinois host Indiana

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2013 Illini host Hoosiers

February 7, 2013

Everything appears to be clicking for Indiana, which reclaimed the country’s No. 1 ranking behind three impressive wins last week.

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The Hoosiers, though, could be hard-pressed to keep their celebrations going with two difficult matchups in store.

Looking to open 5-0 on the road in Big Ten play, Indiana tries to avoid a 10th loss in 11 visits to Illinois on Thursday night.

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Indiana (20-2, 8-1) opened 2012-13 ranked No. 1 and spent five weeks there before suffering an 88-86 overtime defeat to Butler on Dec. 15. While a 64-59 home loss to Wisconsin on Jan. 15 also raised some eyebrows, the Hoosiers have since won five straight by an average of 16.2 points.

That run includes a 75-70 victory over then-No. 13 Michigan State and a 97-60 rout at Purdue, but beating then-No. 1 Michigan 81-73 on Saturday was undoubtedly Indiana’s most notable result. Sophomore standout Cody Zeller had 19 points and 10 rebounds as all five starters scored in double figures.

“It’s a huge accomplishment,” junior Victor Oladipo said of getting back to No. 1. “You know we started there, we had a hard road to get back here. We’re just going to continue to keep working.”

While Indiana is excited about the recognition, coach Tom Crean doesn’t want his team getting caught up in the hoopla.

“That’s not what they play for,” Crean said. “I think they truly are learning that those things are nice, but playing to improve, to win games like this, to face some adversity and fight through it, that’s what matters. When we were not No. 1 in December they heard those things. Were we any worse because we lost by two? We didn’t play very well that day.”

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The Hoosiers haven’t played very well during their last several trips to Champaign, either. Indiana has dropped three straight and nine of 10 at Illinois, with its lone win coming 83-79 in double-overtime Feb. 7, 2008.

“We know that the challenge is great this week in going to Illinois and then to (No. 10) Ohio State (on Sunday),” said Crean, whose team took the last matchup in this series 84-71 at home last Feb. 9.

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The Fighting Illini (15-8, 2-7), who’ve dropped six of seven while yielding 72.1 points per game, are hoping to avoid a season-worst fourth consecutive loss after falling 74-68 to Wisconsin on Sunday. Illinois has allowed opponents to shoot 51.3 percentage during the skid.

“Defensively, I thought we were atrocious (last week),” coach John Groce said. “And until we get that figured out, then obviously we’re not going to be where we want to be. At this point, we’re kind of at a crossroads with our defense, we’ve got to get better.”

The Illini figure to have their hands full against a Hoosiers team that’s averaging 83.8 points, the country’s second-best mark. Indiana’s 50.1 field-goal percentage ranks sixth.

“Obviously, they bring several challenges. They’re a really good basketball team, they’re well coached,” Groce said. “They’ve got size, they’ve got depth, they’ve got shooting, they’ve got point-guard play.

“But to be honest, as we approach this week, it’s more about us. … We’ve got to get recommitted and be more difficult to score against, regardless of who we play.”

Senior Brandon Paul is averaging a team-leading 17.4 points for Illinois but has posted 13.8 per game in his last four.

Indiana freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell is averaging 12.8 points over his last four contests – 5.1 more than his season mark.

The Hoosiers haven’t won their first five league games in opposing arenas since opening 6-0 in 1992-93.

 

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2012 Illinois takes on Indiana for homecoming

Posted on October 27, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who will receive their first conference win?

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AmateurSports365.com) — As the subheading ask, well, it was Indiana defeating Illinois, 31-17, in front of 47,981 here at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon. This win gives Hoosiers their first victory in the Big Ten Conference Leaders Division and hopefully getting their season back on the right track.

“It was a good win; the guys played hard,” coach Kevin Wilson shared during post-game. “I don’t know if we played particularly well; the defense rallied up and played well down the stretch. We didn’t turn it over, just the one pick early.”

Fighting Illini gots things going offensively on their opening possession with an 8-play, 73 yard drive that ended with a 2 yard pass from junior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to Eddie Viliunas (7-0).

Indiana answered on their second possession of the game with a 9 play, 75 yard drive ending with a 2-yard touchdown run by Stephen Houston tying the score 7-7. It is important to note that Mr. Houston has now scored in every contest so far for the Hoosiers, and a total of three times in the first half.

Scheelhaase (17 for 27, 176) gave the Illini back the lead (14-7) on an 8-play, 55-yard drive resulting in him running the ball in from 5 yards out in the second quarter.

Hoosiers tied the game (14-14) with 10:10 in the second quarter when Houston scored for the second time in the game on a 10-yard screen pass from Coffman. This scoring drive was setup by a 48-yard pass from Nate Sudfield to Cody Latimer.

Sudfeld took over as QB1 as starting quarterback Cameron Coffman was benched and this sparked the team as coach Wilson shared. “Yeah, (this move was) a little spark.”

Shortly after their second score, Indiana obtained their first lead (21-14) in the game when, Illinois senior, Tommy Davis, muffed a punt giving the Hoosiers the ball deep in their territory. Four plays later, Mr. Houston scored for the third time from 7 yards out, and with this score, they never looked back. The junior back finished the game 21 carries for 73 yards, plus 16 yards receiving.

The Hoosiers did everything they planned to do, including containing Illinois’ rushing attack and force the Illini to become one-dimensional. In addition, Hoosiers defense created two key turnovers.

Illini had chances, lots of them, but couldn’t capitalize, the way Indiana did on the afternoon. The Hoosiers final score came off of a 6 play, 60-yard drive in which Sudfield (10-15 for 107, 2 touchdowns) connected with Shane Wynn (31-17).

Indiana’s season started off very well with a pair of wins over non-conference foes Indiana State (24-17) and UMass (45-6), but since then it has continued to tailspin with now six consecutive losses. The Hoosiers’ four losses in league play have come in hard-fought battles against very good teams in Northwestern (44-29), Michigan State (31-27), Ohio State (52-49) and now Illinois (31-17). This makes their official Big Ten record 4-26 since the start of the 2008 season.

“We talked about how you want to get used to that feeling (of winning) and the best way to do that was to prepare and tonight we’re on a college campus and let’s try to be winning team,” coach Wilson added with perspective of the victory today. “We’ve been doing a lot of things right and it’s nice to get a Saturday scoreboard to go our way and we want a more of those.”

Saturday was homecoming for Illinois, but as Memorial Stadium emptied, the Hoosiers did all of the celebrating. The team gathered in the southeast corner of the stadium with a few dozen red-clad fans who likely shared the team’s relief in finally getting a win.

“Well, it’s Homecoming and I’m not used to being involved in losses,” said coach Tim Beckman after the game. “So I guess first and foremost, the game of football is played when you don’t turn the football over and you don’t beat yourself.”

This lose gives Illinois a five-game losing streak and they continue to spiral with multiple double-digit losses and today they suffered eight penalties for 81 yards, along with penalties, sacks and turnovers were costly. On a brighter note, the Illini had one of their best rushing days of the season with 196 yards, and had 23 first downs to Indiana’s 14.

“I was proud of the way we blocked on the perimeter and the way guys ran,” coach Beckman concluded.

Next for Indiana will host Iowa (November 3); Illinois will travel to Ohio State on the same day.

CHAMPAIGN ROOM Q&A POST GAME

Illinois coach Tim Beckman “there’s not one play that loses a games and that’s what you teach these young men, it’s a number of plays.”

Illinois coach Tim Beckman has never faced the Hoosiers until not, while IU coach Kevin Wilson is 1-1 against the Illini.

Illinois has an all-time record is now 44-56-2 on Homecoming and is 4-3 all-time in Homecoming games against the Hoosiers.

The Hoosiers have scored 24 or more points in each of their games this season, the first time they have pulled off that trick in school history.

IU is averaging 13.3 points more per game this season than it did last year (34.7 vs. 21.4).

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