BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Illinois' Mike Tisdale was nearly perfect from the free-throw line Saturday night.
Demetri McCamey was almost as good.The two combined to make 24-of-30 free throws Saturday night and D. J. Richardson hit a 17-footer to give Illinois its first lead in nearly 36 minutes as the Fighting Illini rallied for a 66-60 victory at Indiana.It's the first time Illinois (11-5, 3-0 Big Ten) has won in Bloomington in consecutive seasons since 1997 and 1998.Tisdale led the Fighting Illini with 27 points and nine rebounds. McCamey came off the bench to score 19 points.The Hoosiers (7-8, 1-2) were led by Verdell Jones with 13 points and freshman Jordan Hulls, who matched his season high with 12 points.But the difference in this one, clearly, was free-throw shooting.Indiana was called for 28 fouls, and Illinois capitalized by making 27-of-39 free-throw attempts.The Hoosiers, meanwhile, were 10-of-18 from the line and blew a 15-point first-half lead.Indiana, which already has more wins this season than in coach Tom Crean's first season in Bloomington, had a chance to top last year's Big Ten victory total Saturday.Hulls got things going early, making three 3-pointers and scoring 11 points, nearly matching his season highs, in the first 8 1/2 minutes.Indiana's defense was even better. After Richardson opened the game with two straight 3s, Indiana didn't allow another basket for 11 minutes, 4 seconds and took advantage with a 13-1 run. They extended the lead to 25-13 with 8:07 left in the half before Tisdale finally ended Illinois' field-goal drought.When the Hoosiers were in foul trouble, the Illini managed to stay in the game. They trimmed a 31-17 deficit to 31-23, then watched Indiana pull away in the closing minutes to build a 41-28 halftime lead.Christian Watford opened the second half with a dunk, but Illinois ran off nine straight points to get within 43-37.And after Jones answered with a three-point play, Indiana was ahead 54-44 with 10:06 to go.But the Illini went on a 13-3 run, scoring seven points on free throws, and finally tied the score at 57 when Mike Davis found Tisdale cutting in for a dunk with 4:36 to go.Illinois still couldn't take the lead until Richardson knocked down the 17-footer with 1:10 left to make it 61-60.