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No. 13 Illini cruise, hand Hoosiers fifth straight loss

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Indiana coach Mike Davis is ready to put
last week behind him.

The Hoosiers, playing for the first time since Davis announced
he will step down at the end of the season, shot just 36 percent
from the field en route to their fifth straight loss, 70-58 to Illinois (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) on Sunday

"With all the things that have gone on, I thought today was
pretty good," Davis said. "I thought we took a step in the right
direction because I saw some guys fighting harder than what they
normally fight and I saw some guys miss some shots they normally
make.

"We've just got to make shots. We've got to take advantage of
our opportunities."

James Augustine scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead
Illinois (22-4, 8-4 Big Ten), which jumped out to a 27-10 lead and
didn't let the Hoosiers get within double figures again. While
Illinois made 9-of-16 shots, the Hoosiers were 2-for-11 and
committed six turnovers during the run.

"We missed some wide open shots," Davis said. "They made
theirs, we missed ours."

Augustine scored 11 points but had only three rebounds in
Illinois' 62-60 loss to the Hoosiers on Jan. 17. In the rematch, he
was 7-for-11 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line,
and had four dunks on his way to his ninth double-double of the
season.

"I wanted to come out with energy," he said. "Everybody made
good passes to me, got me open, screened well. I just had to make
layups."

Illinois coach Bruce Weber said he knew the Illini would have to
jump out to a quick lead to take away any motivational edge the
Hoosiers might have had after Davis' announcement on Thursday.

After four early lead changes, the Illini put together a 22-4
run to turn a 6-5 deficit into the 27-10 lead.

"We did that. We got the crowd in," Weber said. "I thought we
continued it throughout the first half."

Illinois kept pace in the Big Ten, one of four teams with four
losses at the top of the standings. Indiana (13-10, 5-7) now has
lost seven of its last eight.

Indiana switched to a 1-3-1 zone and cut Illinois' 13-point
halftime lead to 41-31 with 16:45 to go, but the Illini responded
with a 7-0 run capped by Augustine's dunk off a bounce pass from
Dee Brown in the lane. He converted a three-point play to make it
48-31.

Augustine went to the bench with his fourth foul with 7:38 to
play and the Hoosiers had a chance to climb back into the game when
Brown left with his fourth with 5:11 left. They closed to within 11
on Roderick Wilmont's jumper with 4:07 to go but Warren Carter
answered and the Illini kept Indiana off the scoreboard until Brown
and Augustine came back with 3:44 to go.

"When they're on the bench, obviously it hurts us," Brian
Randle said. "But at the same time, for the young guys to step up
and keep their composure, it's huge."

Augustine fouled out with 1:19 to go when he clipped Indiana's
Marco Killingsworth, who converted a three-point play to make it
65-55. But the Hoosiers could get no closer.

Randle scored 12 points for Illinois, including a driving
first-half dunk that brought the orange-clad Assembly Hall crowd to
its feet.

"I guess it just comes when it comes," he said, trying to
explain the high-flying move. "It's not one of those things you
plan."

Brown had 10 points and four assists, and Carter added had nine
points.

Killingsworth led the Hoosiers with 15 points, and Wilmont
scored 10.

Davis said he thinks his team can play more relaxed now that the
distraction surrounding his job status is resolved. So does
Wilmont.

"It's not a distraction anymore," Wilmont said. "Now we know
what the deal is. We can go out there and just play like we've been
doing."

Illinois' early run began when Augustine hit a 15-foot jumper
with 17:45 to go. Then Rich McBride hit a 3-pointer, Shaun Pruitt
had a putback and Warren Carter's layup ended a 9-0 spurt.