CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois got a double-double from Alan Griffin, and held Purdue to 25% shooting from the field in a 63-37 win.
It was quite a game for nearly every involved, from the bench to the starters, the Illini proved they can fire on all cylinders and it was truly a team effort that pushed the Illini to a 26 point victory.
Alan Griffin set the tone for an Illini victory. The sophomore led an off the bench effort leading the team with 16 points and 12 rebounds. It paved the way for some big improvements for the Illini, shooting 45% from the field.
“That’s my role you know, I take pride in it, and that helps the team win, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to help the team win,” Griffin said.
“I looked down and he played 19 minutes, and I’m like ‘my goodness, I need him 25-30 minutes’. But I felt like he played that way, and he plays so hard, and he’s doing an elite job of running the floor, he’s finding his threes, and he goes to the glass every time and that energy is what he look for coming off the bench,” Brad Underwood said.
Trent Frazier and Kofi Cockburn added 12 points.
The Illini ended a four year drought, beating the boilermakers for the first time since 2016. They held Purdue to just 25% shooting from the field, the worst ever in the history of Purdue basketball. The team effort on both sides of the ball showed the Illini can be a top competitor in the Big Ten.
“We’ve been doing that since the beginning of the season. Just kills, kills, kills, so we always take the defensive part personally, and tonight was one of our best nights tonight, and it was great to have that and we got to bring that same energy every night,” Frazier said.
Illinois is not one of 18 teams in college basketball to reach 1,800 program wins. Certainly a milestone worth celebrating but they’re focused on the big picture. They proved they can get a Big Ten win at home, but not it’s time for one on the road. They’ll have a chance against Wisconsin on Wednesday.