Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illini Can't Solve Purdue, Fall in Big Ten Opener Six-Game Winning Streak Snapped by Boilermakers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Illini Can't Solve Purdue, Fall in Big Ten Opener Six-Game Winning Streak Snapped by Boilermakers

Article excerpt

The king isn't dead yet.

Purdue, three-time defending champion of the Big Ten Conference, made it known Thursday night that it isn't quite ready to relinquish its crown.

The Boilermakers, off to their worst start in 15 years, leaped into league play by knocking off high-flying Illinois 75-69 before 15,364 at the Assembly Hall. After rolling through nonconference play and into the national rankings, No. 24 Illinois stumbled badly as it tried to take its first step toward making a statement in the Big Ten. The upset loss dropped Illinois' record to 10-3 and ended its string of victories at six. Purdue - which lists seven freshmen among its top 12 players - improved to 6-5 and stopped a two-game skid. The outcome also allowed the Boilermakers to maintain their lead, 75-73, in the schools' series and extended to five games the winning streak by the visiting team in the matchup. The Illini came into the game shooting a respectable 45.4 percent from the floor after hitting 53.3 percent of their shots in whipping Missouri 85-69 Saturday. But when Purdue came out in a zone defense, Illinois struggled. And when the Boilermakers switched to man-to-man about halfway through the half, Illinois struggled some more. The Illini made only 11 of their 39 first-half shots, a dismal 28.2 percentage. Purdue, outrebounded 21-18 and stifled by 14 turnovers against the aggressive Illini defense, got 18 fewer shots but hit 52.4 percent (11 of 21) and led 31-28 at intermission. With 14:57 left in the half, Illini coach Lon Kruger went to a three-guard lineup in an attempt to solve Purdue's zone. He replaced forward Bryant Notree with Kevin Turner, who scored five points over the next 6 1/2 minutes as Illinois forged a 20-13 lead. The Boilermakers countered by switching their defense. Illinois grabbed its biggest lead, 24-15, on Chris Gandy's rebound basket with 6:26 left. But Purdue outscored the Illini 16-4 the rest of the way, including an 11-point run that turned a 26-20 deficit into a 31-26 lead. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.