for this game

Bassett sparks Indiana to win over Illinois

Feb 10, 2007 - 10:47 PM BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- Freshman Armon Bassett showed the moxie of a senior.

Bassett drove the lane and banked in a running jumper with 44 seconds left to give 24th-ranked Indiana the lead for good in a 65-61 Big Ten Conference victory over Illinois.

The Hoosiers (17-6, 7-3 Big Ten) had lost seven of the last eight meetings with their conference rivals, including a 51-43 defeat on January 23.

This game featured 16 lead changes and 10 ties. The last lead change was provided by Bassett, a 6-1 guard from Terre Haute who is averaging 8.5 points per game.

Illinois (18-9, 6-6) held a 61-58 lead after Marcus Arnold hit a pair of free throws with 3:33 left.

D.J. White made two free throws to pull Indiana within 61-60 with 1:50 left.

Bassett then gave the Hoosiers the lead for good when he drove by guard Rich McBride and flipped a shot off the glass while being fouled by Calvin Brock. Bassett missed the free throw.

"As his years progress, he is going to develop into a really good player," Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said of Bassett. "This is a kid who back in November had 16 against Duke, and he has had other big games this year. It's certainly no surprise that Armon played well."

Illinois had a chance to reclaim the lead but McBride missed a 3-point attempt from the left corner with 23 seconds left.

A.J. Ratliff split two free throws with 19 seconds remaining to increase the advantage to 63-61.

Illinois failed to get a shot off on its next possession as Shaun Pruitt was called for a five-second violation while being defended by White.

"I just wanted to pressure him," said White, who finished with 13 points. "One thing that Coach always talks about is when someone picks the ball up, my other four teammates will deny their man. I just had to do a good job of taking his vision away so he couldn't get a pass off."

Earl then made a pair of free throws with 3.5 seconds left to seal Indiana's 15th straight home win.

Roderick Wilmont led the Hoosiers with 17 points and Bassett finished with 15, nearly double his season average.

Indiana is in third place in the Big Ten, behind co-leaders Ohio State and Wisconsin, which are each 10-1.

Warren Carter scored 14 points and McBride added 13 for Illinois, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Indiana raced to a 13-5 lead in the first four minutes, but McBride scored five points to spark a 15-6 run for the Fighting Illini.

"They were a little more aggressive here than they were at our place," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "Wilmont created some shots and Bassett got in the paint on us."

A 3-pointer by Earl Calloway, a three-point play by Wilmont and a leaner in the lane by White helped the Hoosiers build a 30-25 lead.

But Illinois closed the half with an 8-1 run as McBride hit a pair of 3-pointers and Brian Carlwell dunked a follow shot at the buzzer, giving the Fighting Illini a 33-31 advantage.

However, Illinois shot just 34 percent (8-of-23) in the second half.