CHAMPAIGN, Ill (REUTERS) — Frank Williams had 24 points in his final home game, and No. 15 Illinois beat No. 25 Indiana 70-62 Tuesday night for its seventh-straight victory.
Williams, who has announced he is leaving college a year early to enter the NBA draft, scored 15 of his 24 points in the first half and had six rebounds.
Brian Cook added 15 points, going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, and senior Cory Bradford had 13 points and was 3-of-4 from three-point range for Illinois (22-7, 10-5 Big Ten).
Kyle Hornsby had 14 points, and Tom Coverdale added 13 for the Hoosiers (18-10, 10-5), who have lost two straight and three of five.
Williams was guarded most of the game by Dane Fife, who had trouble keeping up with the quicker Williams and was repeatedly beaten off the dribble. Williams was 8-of-19 from the field and 7-of-9 from the line.
Illinois led by as many as 14 points midway through the second half, but Indiana slowly cut the lead to two on a basket by Jarrad Odle with 3:11 left.
After a basket by Williams, Indiana assistant coach Ben McDonald was charged with a technical foul for arguing a call. It was the second technical of the game for Indiana, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Cook made both free throws after the technical to give Illinois a six-point lead, then put back a missed shot to put the Illini up eight with 1:39 left.
Illinois was 6-of-6 from the free-throw line over the final 31 seconds, and the Hoosiers never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
Jared Jeffries, who has been bothered by a sprained right ankle, had one of his poorest games of the season for the Hoosiers. Jeffries had six turnovers — five in the first half — and was 1-of-6 for three points.
Indiana had 17 turnovers and just 12 assists. Illinois was held scoreless for 7:04 in the first half, but the Hoosiers failed to take advantage of the drought. Illinois went on an 11-0 run, behind four points each from Williams and Bradford, to take an 18-9 lead. Bradford, the NCAA record-holder for consecutive games with a three-pointer, was 2-of-3 on threes in the half to lead Illinois to a 36-24 lead.