Subpar free throw shooting costs Illini game against No. 13 Hoosiers

By Courtney Linehan

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Illinois prides itself on its free throw shooting. So when the Illini made just two of six in the first half, and 8-of-16 in the game, coach Bruce Weber wasn’t happy.

“When it comes down to it, the free throws are what really caught us,” Weber said.

No single player was to blame for Illinois’ trouble at the charity stripe. While guard Dee Brown hit both his free throws, forward Brian Randle sunk just 1-of-3 shots, forwards Shaun Pruitt made 3-of-5 and Marcus Arnold split a pair. But the biggest surprise came from James Augustine, who made just 1-of-4 – well below his 63 percent season average.

“Everybody was missing free throws; I guess it just wasn’t our night,” Augustine said. “I guess we used them all up against Michigan.”

Freshman Frazier steps up

Before Brown landed his fourth foul, Illinois freshman guard Chester Frazier was already stepping up for the struggling Illini. Frazier’s numbers may not sparkle, with just one rebound and two assists in 11 minutes on the court, but his defense proved vital to keeping Illinois in the game.

Weber charged Frazier with guarding Indiana ball-handler Lewis Monroe, and Frazier helped hold the fifth-year seniors to just two points.

“I thought Frazier came in for them at the end of the game and did a great job of pressuring the ball,” Indiana coach Mike Davis said. “I think Coach Weber did a great job of putting Frazier on the ball and forcing Lewis to take some pressure.”

Tipoff Time

James Augustine won the tip for the 16th time this season. Augustine is 96-22 in tipoffs for his career.

Quote of the game

“Dee is a great player. A great player. I don’t want to say anything to make Dee mad at me and score 40 points when we go to Illinois. I love Dee; he’s one of my favorite players.”

-Indiana coach Mike Davis on Illinois point guard Dee Brown