The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

No. 10 Illinois men’s basketball comes out on top in heated rivalry clash with Indiana

Angel Saldivar
Senior Forward Coleman Hawkins drives down the court, setting up a jumper against Indiana on Saturday.

With the State Farm Center striped in sections of orange and blue, the No. 10 Illini bounced back in Champaign on Saturday, rising to an eight-point win over the Indiana Hoosiers. The hard-fought battle saw Illinois claim its 15th win of the 2023-24 season.

Head coach Brad Underwood started the game with fifth-year guard Terrence Shannon Jr., sophomore guard Ty Rodgers, graduate student forward Marcus Domask, graduate student forward Quincy Guerrier and senior forward Coleman Hawkins on the floor.

The Illini suffered a slow start, blanking 0-7 from the field as the Hoosiers got going with a 5-0 start. Hawkins and Shannon managed to get Illinois back into the contest with its first buckets just over four minutes into the game.

Indiana began to cruise away with a 7-0 scoring run while the State Farm Center watched in dismay as Illinois struggled to get anything to fall.

The introduction of redshirt junior forward Dain Dainja provided a boost, as the Illini big man ended the drought with a two-handed dunk. Domask followed suit with a triple to bring Illinois back within three points of the visitors.

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Led by Domask and Rodgers, the Illini fought their way back. A crucial three-point make by Hawkins brought Illinois within one point of the visitors, and by the team’s next possession they were tied after junior guard Luke Goode sank a contest triple.

Rodgers claimed the Illini’s first lead of the game at the 2:50 mark, and the sea of orange at the State Farm Center erupted as the team sparked a 12-6 scoring run to end the half. Illinois led 38-34 heading into the break.

A technical foul at the end of the first half was called on Indiana’s Xavier Johnson, allowing Domask to score the first points of the second half from the free-throw line.

However, the opening five minutes ended up being all Indiana, who kickstarted an 11-0 run to reclaim the lead at 47-42. Fans began to voice their frustration throughout the arena as the Illini struggled to wake up on the court amid a seven-point deficit.

Freshman guard Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn came off the bench and ended the team’s drought at the 12:13 mark with a huge three-point make as the Illini forced the Hoosiers into a 4:12 scoring drought.

Goode earned an and-one as Illinois tied the game at 49-49 amid a 7-0 run. Hawkins soon boosted the scoring run with an and-one play of his own as the Illini reclaimed the lead with 8:57 remaining.

Illinois held a five-point lead heading into the final five minutes of play, but the visitors were not backing down. The Hoosiers quickly battled back within one possession, and with just over a minute remaining, Mackenzie Mgbako tied the game once more for the visitors at 62-62.

Shannon added two free throws with 1:05 remaining as the State Farm Center rose to its feet as the Illini prepared to defend their two-point advantage. Johnson missed two free throws on the other end of the court as the Illini faithful released an avalanche of cheers.

Graduate student guard Justin Harmon only fueled the momentum by scoring a vital floater to boost Illinois to a four-point lead with 27.6 seconds remaining. The Hoosiers continued to foul as the Illini rose to a 70-62 victory in front of an electric crowd in Champaign. Domask led the way in scoring with 16 points as Illinois found itself 15-5 on the season and 6-4 in the Big Ten.

Illinois will be back on the road for a trip to Ohio State on Tuesday.



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About the Contributors
James Kim
James Kim, Sports Editor
My name is James Kim and I’m a senior studying English with a minor in business. This is my third year with The Daily Illini and it’s been an amazing ride so far. When I joined in fall 2021, I began as a staff writer for the sports section where I covered women’s tennis. In spring 2022, I became an assistant sports editor and started covering soccer and Illinois men’s basketball. From spring 2023 onwards I’ve been working as the sports editor! In addition to being an Illini and Real Madrid fanatic, I also love watching movies and TV shows. If you have any questions about writing for The DI, you can reach me at my email below. I-L-L!
Angel Saldivar, Assistant Photo Editor
My name is Angel Saldivar and I'm nearing the end of my Journalism degree at the University of Illinois and currently serve as the Assistant Photo Editor at the Daily Illini. When I'm not out taking photos, I'm diving into filmmaking with my film club (shoutout Illini Film and Video) or playing the drums. Got questions or just want to connect? Don't hesitate to email me!
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