Indiana vs. Illinois final score: Hoosiers advance to Big Ten Tournament semis with 80-64 victory


Cody Zeller had a big game to help lead top-seeded Indiana into the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a win over Illinois. The Hoosiers shot 54 percent while holding the Illini to just 34.5 percent shooting.

The top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers avenged their last-second regular season loss to the eighth-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini, grabbing an 80-64 victory on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Cody Zeller had a monster game, scoring 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting while also grabbing nine rebounds. It was nice redemption for Zeller, who had a quiet game by his standards in the then-No. 1 Hoosiers' 74-72 loss to the Illini in Champaign on Feb. 7. Zeller was also the goat on Illinois' game-winning shot, as the big man completely lost Tyler Griffey for a layup as time expired.

Friday's quarterfinal started slowly, but No. 3 Indiana soon took control of the game, using Zeller and stifling defense to grab a 35-21 halftime lead. The Illini finally got their offense going in the second half, but they had little answer for the Hoosiers' offense and size advantage. Indiana shot 54.0 percent from the field and outrebounded Illinois, 33-20.

Christian Watford added 15 points and six rebounds, and Will Sheehey came off the bench to chip in 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting. Victor Oladipo had 12 points and 11 rebounds, capping off the victory with an emphatic 360 slam.

Brandon Paul and Tracy Abrams led the Illini with 16 points apiece, but they combined to shoot just 7-of-28. Despite heating up in the second half, Illinois shot just 34.5 percent overall.

Indiana all but locked up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with the victory, and they will play the winner of Wisconsin and Michigan in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois is safely in the NCAA Tournament despite the loss.

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