Hulls helps Indiana upset No. 20 Illinois
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Jordan Hulls had the big game. Tom Pritchard had the big play.
Together, they set off the wildest celebration in Bloomington in years.
Hulls scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, and Pritchard tipped in a missed shot with 44.2 seconds to go, giving Indiana a 52-49 upset of No. 20 Illinois on Thursday night.
The victory ended a 19-game losing streak against ranked opponents for Indiana (11-10, 2-6 Big Ten).
Mike Davis scored 14 points to lead Illinois (14-7, 4-4), which has lost four of five and failed to win its third straight in Bloomington.
And it was every bit as tough as it looked.
Hulls, who started the game with a wrap on his right knee, finished it with a bandage on his right temple and tape around his right forearm. And Pritchard, who drew four fouls in the first 9 minutes of the second half, came up with the game's biggest play when he got his fingertips on a missed shot and redirected it for what proved to be the winning basket.
Fans rushed the court, jumping up and down at midcourt in a celebration reminiscent of a night the Hoosiers upset then-No. 1 Michigan State in January 2001.
Neither team led by more than six points, and when the Illini closed on a 7-2 run to take a 32-30 halftime lead, it looked like the game might slip away from Indiana.
Then things got downright ugly.
Neither team scored for almost 5½ minutes in the second half, and when Hulls finally drove in for a layup to make it 36-34 with 12:46 to go, Indiana had its second basket in a span of more than 10 minutes.
But they couldn't regain the lead for another 5 minutes. That's when Hulls knocked down a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 41-39 lead with 7:36 left. Hulls' 3 gave the Hoosiers a 46-42 lead with 5:01 to go, but the Illini scored seven straight points to rebuild a 49-46 lead with 2:43 left.
Christian Watford then hit two free throws, and Pritchard tipped the game back in Indiana's favor. Hulls followed that with two free throws, and Illinois missed two 3s in the final 5 seconds.