Final - OT
  for this game

Tisdale, Illinois needs overtime to upset Purdue

Dec 31, 2008 - 4:59 AM WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (Ticker) -- It was spring by the time Illinois captured its 13th win last season. The Fighting Illini managed to reach that number before the turn of the calendar this season.

Mike Tisdale had 18 points before fouling out and Illinois used a 9-0 run in overtime to pull the upset over 11th-ranked Purdue, 71-67, on Tuesday.

Mike Davis and Alex Legion each scored 12 points to help the Illini (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) hand the Boilermakers a rare home loss in the conference opener for both teams.

"We just stayed together. We made some plays down the stretch and made our free throws, it went to overtime and we just stayed together," said Illinois guard Trent Meacham, whose team made seven of its last eight attempts from the charity stripe.

The 2007-08 campaign was one of the Illini's worst this decade, but Bruce Weber's club has bounced back so far this season.

They appeared to score the go-ahead layup on a pick-and-roll basket by Davis with less than six seconds left in regulation, assisted by Meacham on the play.

JaJuan Johnson's jumper fell well short with 1.9 seconds remaining, but Davis was whistled for a foul, sending Johnson to the line with the chance to put the Boilermakers ahead.

After he got the roll on the first shot to tie the contest at 56-56, the rim was unkind on Johnson's second attempt as the game went into overtime.

"I just wanted to hit it," Johnson said. "I made the first. On the second, I felt it was going in. I went through my routine and it looked like it was on line. It just didn't fall."

"He's made huge strides, him and (Mike) Tisdale both," Weber said of Johnson. "They're getting stronger and more mobile. Both are going to be forces down the road."

Purdue (11-2, 0-1) scored the first four points of the extra session, but Davis had a pair of baskets during the key spurt as Illinois tied its regular-season win total from last season.

Illinois struggled to a 13-18 record last year, including 5-13 mark in the Big Ten. It did reel off three straight wins in the conference tournament prior to dropping the championship game to Wisconsin.

This season the Illini seem poised to join the national rankings thanks to their seventh straight win.

"Well, you know, since the beginning I've emphasized mental and physical toughness," Weber said of the different between this year and last. "We didn't have that last year. Now, we have to comeback and play another Top-25 team (Michigan) on the road. It was a team win tonight."

Tisdale, who fouled out with 2:05 left in regulation, made 8-of-16 field-goal attempts and grabbed six rebounds. Chester Frazier dished out seven of the Illini's 21 assists, including three in overtime.

"First of all, I think Illinois played a great game," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "Their ball control was the key to the game. To have 21 assists and only six turnovers is incredible. Also, we have to finish. Whether it's driving to the basket or on offensive rebounds, we have to do a better job of finishing at the rim."

Johnson paced the Boilermakers with 16 points and 15 rebounds while E'Twaun Moore scored 17.

Purdue entered the contest 39-3 at home since the 2006-07 season and had its streak of 16 straight home victories against unranked opponents snapped.