BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Armon Bassett scored the go-ahead basket with less than a minute to go and Indiana (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today) forced a clinching turnover with 5 seconds remaining to preserve a 65-61 victory over Illinois on Saturday.
The layup by Bassett put the Hoosiers (17-6, 7-3 Big Ten) up 62-61 with 45 seconds remaining.A.J. Ratliff then hit one of two free throws, and the Hoosiers got the ball back on a 5-second call against the Illini's Shaun Pruitt. Earl Calloway was immediately fouled and hit both free throws for Indiana's final points, giving the Hoosiers their 15th straight win at home.Roderick Wilmont led Indiana with 17 points, while Bassett finished with 15 and D.J. White added 13.Warren Carter scored 14 points and Rich McBride added 13 for Illinois (18-9, 6-6).Indiana led 56-52 with 6 minutes to go but managed only two free throws in the next four minutes. A 3-pointer by Jamar Smith brought Illinois within one point, then Marcus Arnold's two free throws gave Illinois the lead at 57-56.Indiana regained the lead with two foul shots by White, but the Illini went in front for the last time with two free throws each by Carter and Arnold.The Hoosiers pulled within one with two more free throws by White, then after a miss by McBride, Indiana took the lead for good on the drive to the basket by Bassett.Indiana's biggest lead was in the opening minutes of the game at 13-5, but the Hoosiers couldn't put the Illini away.McBride had 7 points in a 13-3 run by Illinois, and a basket and free throw by Calvin Brock tied the game at 18. There were four more lead changes, and the Hoosiers went up 30-25 before two quick 3-pointers by McBride helped the Illini to another tie at 31 a minute before halftime.Indiana's White then missed a shot under the basket, and Brian Carlwell dunked at the buzzer to give Illinois a 33-31 lead at the half.Indiana fans taunted Illinois throughout the game -- especially coach Bruce Weber -- in retaliation for the reception the Hoosiers received in Champaign last month, when Illinois fans booed Kelvin Sampson because of his recruitment of high school star Eric Gordon. The Indianapolis North Central senior had given Illinois an oral commitment, but changed his mind and signed with the Hoosiers last fall.