CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Exactly two weeks ago things were not going well for the Illinois basketball team after a 13-point loss at Northwestern. It dropped the team to 0-3 in Big Ten play and 9-5 overall but a switch has flipped since, with the Illini (13-5, 4-3 B1G) rattling off four-straight wins.

Production off the bench has been a big reason why, especially in Monday night’s blowout win at Minnesota. The Illini were plus-14 in points off the bench, with key contributions from Ty Rodgers, Jayden Epps and Brandon Lieb, who posted a new career high in minutes played at 13, tying his highest scoring total in three years at four points.

“I mean it’s huge like last game, Dain was in foul trouble and Lieb gave us great minutes so I think everybody’s important on this team,” Rodgers said on Wednesday before Illinois’ game against Indiana. “Especially since we’re low on numbers so just everybody being ready.”

With Epps not in the first five, the Illini get a de facto starter coming off the bench. The freshman guard is tied for fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.7 points per game. His 24.9 minutes per game rank third. Others like Ty Rodgers are finding their way as of late. After scoring just 15 points in his first nine games, the 6-foot-6 wing has found his role, posting a career high eight points at Minnesota, tying his rebound high with eight. For the season, Illinois is outscoring opponents 422-276.

“I like our bench against anybody,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “It’s one of the things we’ve shown productivity, adding some defensive stopper mentality, some toughness, some grit. I like our bench, we’ve been very solid in that area.”

Illinois and Indiana tip-off Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. on FS1.