Jaden Ivey, Purdue blast Illinois to force 3-way tie atop B1G standings
Illinois is no longer sitting atop the B1G standings alone. Jaden Ivey and Purdue took care of home court on Tuesday night, pummeling the Fighting Illini in an 84-68 decision inside Mackey Arena. The Boilermaker victory has created a 3-way tie for first place in the league standings.
Ivey posted a game-high 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting in the double-digit victory for the Boilermakers. Although he was quiet through a majority of the first half, the star took the game over in the second half.
The Fighting Illini jumped out to an early lead on Tuesday night, a great start to pulling off a road upset in the B1G. Brad Underwood’s squad by as many as 9 points, but Purdue stormed back quickly.
With the score knotted at 36-36 in the closing seconds half the half, Andre Curbelo raced down the floor and hit an acrobatic layup as time expired to give Illinois a 2-point lead and some momentum heading into the locker room.
The two teams traded punches to start the second half, but Purdue put together a strong run midway through. Leading 54-50, the Boilermakers then outscored the Illini 21-6 over the next 7 minutes to take a 75-56 advantage with less than 7 minutes to play.
Matt Painter’s team cruised from that point forward.
Along with Ivey’s 26 points, Purdue got big contributions from Zach Edey, Trevion Williams and Eric Hunter Jr. Edey scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds while Williams added 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench.
Watch the star sophomore's second half dominance ⤵️. pic.twitter.com/5nqVwCVTDu
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 9, 2022
Hunter Jr. sparked a Purdue run early in the second half, scoring 8 straight points. He finished the game with 9 points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Kofi Cockburn was kept in check but still managed to score 18 points and grab 7 rebounds in the loss. Alfonso Plummer — who caught fire in the first half — ended the game with 14 points. He did not score in the second half.
With Purdue and Wisconsin both winning on Tuesday night, there’s now a 3-way tie atop the B1G standings. Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin are all 10-3 with 7 games remaining on the B1G schedule.