Romeo Langford scored a career-high 28 points, Juwan Morgan added 14 points and 10 rebounds and Indiana defeated Illinois 73-65 in a Big Ten matchup Thursday night. The Hoosiers (12-2, 3-0) have won seven straight games.
With Indiana looking rusty, the Fighting Illini charged to an early lead, making 11 of their first 18 shots on the way to a 25-15 lead.
Langford shot an efficient 8 for 13 from the field and 11 of 15 from the line for Indiana. The talented freshman set the tone for the Hoosiers in the second half, scoring the first 10 points for the Hoosiers. Langford totaled 19 points in the half on seven shots.
Samson Oladimeji scored 20 points and Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 18 for Illinois.
After being down 10 through the first 9:11 of action, Indiana turned up its defense and limited Illinois to 35 percent shooting for the rest of the game. Indiana forced nearly as many turnovers (21) as field goals allowed (25). Six of Illinois' turnovers came on forced shot-clock violations.
Indiana's defense also sparked its offense, leading to 22 points off forced turnovers.
The Hoosiers led by as many as 15 points, but a late run by Illinois, fueled by a three-quarters court press that took the Hoosiers out of rhythm, helped cut the lead to four points. But Langford and Morgan made their free throws late and extended the lead to eight points, the final margin.
The Fighting Illini lost their third straight game and the road ahead doesn't appear to give them a break, with three ranked opponents on the schedule for January.
Illinois returns to action Sunday on the road against in-state rival Northwestern.