INDIANAPOLIS – Tracy Abrams scored 25 points, including a backbreaking 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining, and No. 9 seed Illinois snuck past eighth-seeded Indiana 64-54 on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament.
The Hoosiers (17-15) trailed just 53-52 before Abrams sprung open for his clutch trey. On Indiana's ensuing possession, Austin Etherington missed a 3 from the right corner. From there, the Illini pulled away and were never really in danger.
Illinois (19-13) entered the tournament with four wins in five games and carried over that momentum.
Indiana shot 35 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers. Yogi Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 14 points and Will Sheehey added 13. Troy Williams finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
Indiana got just six points and five rebounds from Noah Vonleh.
Illinois' Rayvonte Rice had 13 points and Kendrick Nunn 10.