Cook couldn't get off in the first
half, getting just five shots for a total of six points, but
Illinois was able to stay ahead of Purdue thanks to early scoring
from Luther Head and James Augustine and five first-half assists
from freshman Deron Williams. Illinois held Purdue's two studs,
Willie Deane and Chris Booker, to a combined seven points in the
opening 20 minutes.
Purdue came out on fire in the second
half and had several chances to overtake Illinois in the closing 20
minutes. The Boilers lived at the free-throw line after
intermission, as once again the officials decided it was a good idea
to call a foul on nearly every second-half possession. The Illini
were whistled for an amazing 16 second-half fouls, and a total of 50
fouls were called by the two Ted's (Hillary and Valentine) and
rookie ref William Bush. Gene Keady, who does a great impression of
the cartoon character Skellator while barking at the refs, brought a
greatly improved Purdue team to Champaign and really had his Boilers
poised for an upset.
When will the madness end? When will
the Big Ten decide paying fans want to watch basketball, not a
free-throw shooting contest?
Things looked real good for Purdue with
six-plus minutes to go when they pulled within one at 57-56 while
Cook was saddled with four fouls on the bench. Even coach Keady
could be seen smiling during the timeout that followed, but little
did he know Illini coach Bill Self was ready to help his team take
control for good.
Illinois would close the game on a 18-6
run, and Purdue would not make another field goal the rest of the
game. Self did a great job of substituting through the final six
minutes and keeping several Illini in foul trouble from fouling out.
Seven Brian Cook free throws in the last four minutes helped seal
the Illini victory, and Illinois improved to 3-2 in the conference
and 13-3 overall.
Illinois will return to action in State
College, Pa., on Saturday against Penn State at 11:15 a.m. The game
will be televised by WCIA-TV, Channel 3.
[to top of second column in this
news and notes
1. Cook moved into 11th place on
the all-time scoring list Wednesday night, surpassing former
teammate Frank Williams. Cook has scored 1,446 points in his Illini
2. Three Illinois freshman,
Williams, Augustine and Dee Brown, combined for 100 game minutes and
scored a combined 32 points.
3. Purdue's bench outscored
Illinois' bench 18-6, as only Nick Smith contributed in the scoring
4. Luther Head scored 15 points,
including three 3-point baskets, and added five rebounds in a good
all-around effort in 27 minutes of action.
5. Deron Williams scored 11
points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and dished out a
team-high seven assists for his most complete game of year. Williams
also had two steals and placed good defense on Purdue's Deane, their
6. Coach Self improved to 4-1
against Purdue in his Illinois coaching career, a stark contrast to
former coach Lon Kruger, who never did beat Keady and the Boilers
while coaching at Illinois. Self also improved his Assembly Hall
record to 34-1.
7. The Illini wore their orange
jerseys for the first time this season against Purdue.
8. Illinois held Purdue to 32
percent shooting from the field and 19 percent from 3-point land,
while the Boilers missed 11 free throws (21-32) on the evening.
9. Both Illinois and Purdue
committed 17 turnovers for the game, and the Boilers out-rebounded
the Illini 39-36. Illinois had 15 assists, while Purdue had just
Illinois and Purdue meet at least one more time this year: Saturday
night, Feb. 15, at 7 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. The
teams could also meet up at the Big Ten tournament in Chicago March
Well, it's going to be the Oakland
Raiders against that wild man, Jon Gruden's, Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
But, who will win? Since Tampa went into a hostile environment and
did the unthinkable, they must have the edge in San Diego. The
Raiders are old and could really have used the old format of two
weeks off before the Big game. Both games seemed to be
Local and area colleges hoped to be
better than their current records at this point, but there's still
time to ready for the postseason.
Making my annual trip to watch our
local junior high teams play... I saw Carroll Catholic's teams
earlier, and they really performed well. LJHS had been up and down a
little, but we saw both of their teams this week in two pretty
Is it just me or are any other Cardinal
fans worried about how much Houston and Chicago have improved over
The Birds are pinning their hopes on
everyone coming back healthy. When you've been in the playoffs so
many times, do you really worry if they miss a year? That whole
concept really concerns us, the way sports are run as a business
rather than trying to win championships every year!
[to top of second column in this
Equal opportunity? There's been a lot
of talk about that when it comes to hirings in the world of sports.
We don't know about you, but I'd hire the person who gives us the
best chance to win… period! All the hype, discussions, crossfires,
etc. are not going to change the bottom line for pro franchises and
many college programs… winning!
…Right here tonight on the LDN's live
link, CITV Channel 5 and FIX 96.3 FM at 6 p.m.! Greg Taylor joins us
back in the studio after a two-week hiatus. We also hope to be
joined by the Lincoln Elks head golf professional, Mr. Adam Walsh.
So, all of you golfers, duffers and hackers, get your off-season
golf questions ready and give us a call tonight at 735-3306. We hope
to have some other surprises for you as well!
Have a great