The Fighting Illini (21-5, 9-4 Big Ten) won their third straight overall and improved to 10-4 against the Hoosiers in the last 14 games.
Matt Roth had 13 points for Indiana (6-18, 1-11), which couldn't avoid setting another dubious school record - becoming the first Hoosiers team to lose 18 games in a season. The 1969-70 team lost 17 games and set the school record for Big Ten losses (11), a mark this Indiana team has tied.
It looked like this would be an easy victory in the first half when Illinois shot 63 percent from the field and built a 21-point lead against the short-handed Hoosiers.
Indiana played its second straight game without leading scorer Devan Dumes, who was suspended by coach Tom Crean after throwing flagrant elbows last week at Michigan State. Dumes also sat out Tuesday night at Minnesota.
The Hoosiers rallied but couldn't overcome a 17-point deficit in a game that included some of the raw passion associated with this border state rivalry.
Crean and Davis got into a staring match at the end of the first half, several times fans chanted "Shut Up Weber" at Illini coach Bruce Weber and guard Calvin Brock drew a technical after celebrating a one-handed dunk off a rebound.
Yet Illinois was in control almost from the opening tip.
It scored seven straight points to take a 17-7 lead midway through the half, and then allowed just one field goal during a 10-minute stretch that finally ended with Tom Pritchard's dunk. By then, Illinois led 31-13.
Things were about to get worse.
Jeff Jordan's layup with 2:36 to go made it 36-15 and Illinois led 38-21 at the half.
The obvious discrepancy were the shooting numbers. Illinois was 17-of-27 from the field in the first half, while Indiana was 6-of-22.
That's not the way Crean wanted his team to look on national television, and in the second half the Hoosiers looked like a different team.
They used an 11-4 spurt to get within 46-34 with 13:31 to go and when Kyle Taber, Indiana's only senior, posted up for a layup with 7:38 left, Indiana trailed 54-46. Seventy seconds later, Malik Story grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled past four Illinois defenders and put in a layup to make it 54-48.
But Chester Frazier answered with a 3-pointer for Illinois, which outscored Indiana 11-4 in the final 5 minutes to seal it.
© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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