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Ken is inside Spaceship Assembly Hall, and Alex and I are working from Bloomington (the Indiana one, to be clear), as Indiana takes on Illinois tonight. For those who wonder why I didn't say "rival Illinois," I point you to candor of earlier today in the VIP Room. Tipoff coming in about 30 minutes. Stay tuned.
Zach Osterman // IU Athletics beat reporter // Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZachOsterman
Nice tease to the VIP Room. Also, IU's and Illinois' starters are announced.
IU: Ferrell, Hulls, Oladipo, Ferrell and Zeller
Illinois: Paul, Richardson, Abrams, McLuarin, Egwu
Indiana Insider for Inside Indiana and InsideIndiana.com. Give me a follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/akmccarthy if you so desire.
Also worth tossing Joseph Bertrand into this mix. He's a solid sixth man when he's hitting shots. Illinois is a decent a lot of stuff when it's hitting shots.
Illinois' defensive rotations, thus far, are not promising.
Brandon Paul has taken two shots and has yet to hit rim. Not a great start for Illinois.
And yet Indiana's turnover problems in the first half continue, negating this.
Let's be clear: Illinois is not a good 3-point shooting team statistically, nor are any of its players exceptionally consistent 3-point shooters. But together they are wildly streaky.
The three turnovers Indiana is credited with are barely reflective of how poor the Hoosiers' ball security has been so far at Illinois.
On the other hand, I've counted at least three Illinois shots that haven't hit rim, so ... bad team playing badly, good team playing badly, ugly basketball for everyone!
6-5 Illinois, 15:59 left.
The longer Indiana continues taking bad shots and turning the ball over, the longer Illinois will keep this game tight.
Indiana really shouldn't have this game tied right now. Hoosiers are mistaking Illinois into it, knotted at 11-all at the under-12 timeout. Hoosiers might be playing tight, might be playing unfocused. Whatever the case, they're letting a mediocre team keep it close.
IU has looked better on offense in the past few minutes, but still shooting just 40 percent. Still, Illinois is shooting 30 percent, so IU can get away with having a slow start, as it did quite often early in the season.
The game is tied at 11 with 11:58 left in the half.
Five turnovers now.
Another one as Hulls makes an ill-advised pass to Watford that's stolen.
Indiana into the 2-3.
Man, that's an eyebrow-raising officiating sequence.
Look I'm just gonna keep it simple: Stop turning the ball over and play well on defense and Indiana will win comfortably. Struggle to keep doing those things consistently and this one will stay close.
19-18 Hoosiers, Cody Zeller going to the free-throw line with 6:47 left.
Sloppy. Can't win like this on the road
i finally made it
mkillian247 on twitter..... I say a lot of stuff you wont care about.
Much better stretch, aside from the really poor perimeter rotations out of the zone. Indiana is up seven after getting much tighter with the basketball. What's that? Oh, you've heard that somewhere? Ah, I see.
Talent is starting to rise a bit here, as the Illini are staying sloppy while IU tightens up. Illinois apparently not happy with the 7-2 foul disparity, but the reality is Indiana is attacking the rim and getting into the lane far more often than the home team, and officials care about that stuff.
28-21 Indiana, 3:54 left in the half.
It's not talked about much, but IU is so much more patient on offense than it used to be too. Comes with age.
quickly built up that lead
Indiana goes 9-0 run out of the timeout, and John Groce calls timeout as the lead is up to 14. Hoosiers are flipping the script, posting a bunch of good defensive possessions and turnovers.
Damn, I kenw he was going to get a T at somepoint
Not surprising. If there were any time for it though, it's probably tonight.
Apart from the technical, he's playing up to his Sixth Man of the Year potential again tonight. He's pressuring the ball well on defense and aggressively driving on offense. He's 5-for-6 with 10 points.
Solid finish for Indiana has this game about where it should be, Hoosiers up 12 points with a strong run at the end of the game. Hoosiers say on six turnovers for pretty much the second half of the period, and they really got their offense moving as they can do.
The Sheehey tech is hard to really know unless you're on the court. He might have been warned, and the reality is, officials look at a guy who behaves that way a little bit differently, right or wrong.
He also leads IU with 10, Watford and Zeller have eight.
Again, 41-29 at halftime.
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