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Despite Slow Start, Illinois Overcomes Purdue

 width=Illinois survived a cold start and got double-figure scoring from four players Wednesday to hold off Purdue, 66-57.

The Illini survived a late Purdue charge but a Nnanna Egwu dunk with 18 seconds left put the Illini up 64-57.

Malcolm Hill led Illinois (13-7, 3-4 Big Ten) with 18 points. Leron Black had 15, Kendrick Nunn 14 and Egwu 11.

The Illini shot just 28.6 percent in the first half but somehow went to the locker room with a 32-30 lead.

Illinois also relied on efficient free throw shooting while keeping the Boilermakers away from the line. Illinois was 21 of 24 while Purdue was just 4 of 9.

Jon Octeus and Raphael Davis led the Boilermakers (11-8, 3-3) with 14 points each.

Purdue played most of the game without leading scorer Kendall Stephens who left with an unspecified injury.

 width=>>Wichita State Drops Indiana State

Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet and Tekele Cotton each scored 15 points and No. 14 Wichita State pulled away in the second half for a 76-53 win over Missouri State in a Missouri Valley Conference game.

Darius Carter added 14 points for the Shockers (17-2, 7-0 MVC), who remained unbeaten since losing to George Washington in their last non-conference game on Christmas.

Dorrian Williams and Chris Kendrix had 10 points apiece to lead the Bears (8-11, 2-5), who have dropped five in a row.

Wichita State returned to the site of one of its narrowest wins last season, a 72-69 victory over the Bears in overtime on Jan. 11 that kept the Shockers unbeaten on the way to the first 35-0 start by a team in NCAA history.

The Shockers ultimately came up a win short of the Sweet 16 after losing to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.

They are 7-0 in conference play for the second season in a row and fourth time in team history. Each of the previous three runs ended in conference titles.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#11 Utah Utes 86, Washington State Cougars 64
#15 North Carolina Tar Heels 87, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 71
#19 Northern Iowa Panthers 66, Indiana State Sycamores 60
#21 Baylor Bears 81, Huston-Tillotson Rams 61

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