The Indiana Hoosiers (5-4, 0-2 B1G) waltzed into the State Farm Center to battle No. 18 Illinois (7-3, 3-1 B1G) for their first conference road game but could not walk away victorious as they were defeated 69-60
Head coach Archie Miller changed things up in the starting rotation for the Hoosiers as they took on Illinois. Per usual Al Durham, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson, and Armaan Franklin started for IU. Freshman Trey Galloway started in place of Rob Phinisee after a slow start to the season for the junior guard.
The game started out slow for both teams as they combined to miss the first nine shots attempted with the first field goal coming a little over three minutes into the game by sophomore Armaan Franklin. After going up 9-3 the fighting Illini went on a 6-0 scoring run to tie the game with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half.
Sophomore standout Jackson-Davis started the game 0-6 with his first made field goal coming at the eight-minute mark for the Hoosiers. When one player struggles another must pick up the slack and that is exactly what Greenwood native Armaan Franklin did for IU. He led the way at halftime with 11 points on 4-6 shooting and 2-2 from behind the arc.
It was a battle amongst the guards as preseason All-American Ayo Dosunmu led the way for Illinois with 10 points on 5-8 shooting from the field. Indiana struggled in the rebounding battle as they were outrebounded 19 to 13 in the first half.
Illinois ended the first half on a 11-4 run to take the lead going into half with a score of 29-27. Despite being down, IU held Illinois to their fewest first half points so far this season.
The second half began with a technical foul on head coach Archie Miller following a no call on a Jackson-Davis missed layup.
Senior Al Durham scored the first five points of the second half for the Hoosiers. Franklin continued his hot shooting as he poured in 12 second half points. Phinisee was also able to get going on the offensive side of the ball in the second half as he scored on back-to-back plays to give IU a three-point advantage with 13:27 remaining.
Indiana came out for the second half with more energy than Illinois as they forced three turnovers in the first six minutes and took an early lead of 40-37 with 12 minutes remaining but were not able to sustain the uptempo energy throughout the entirety of the second half.
Illinois went on an 14-0 run that lasted over three minutes to give them their largest lead of the night, 49-58. Indiana responded with a TJD and-one, Franklin three-pointer, ad Durham layup to cut the deficit back to three with just under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Ayo Dosunmu did what he does best and that is close out games. He knocked in four triple in the second half and finished with 30 points, his third 30 point performance of the season, on 11 of 17 shooting from the field.
FINAL BOX SCORE
Up next for the Hoosiers is home conference matchup against Penn State on Dec. 30th and 8:30 P.M. EST. Indiana will look to avoid going 0-3 in conference play as they look to acquire their first conference victory of the 2020-2021 season.
Featured Photo: Indiana University Athletics