Stefanovic, No. 4 Purdue Top No. 17 Illinois in doubles OT – NBC Chicago

Sasha Stefanovic scored 22 points, including a go-ahead 3 early in double overtime that sent No. 4 Purdue past No. 17 Illinois 96-88 on Monday.

Illinois guards Andre Curbelo and Alfonso Plummer made baskets in the final seconds of regulation and the first overtime before the Boilermakers (15-2, 4-2 Big Ten) pulled away.

Purdue had four straight shots to take an 89-83 lead with 1:03 left in double overtime. Eric Hunter Jr. had two of those baskets.

Stefanovic went 5 of 8 on 3-point tries and also had eight rebounds. His last-second long-range shot failed when the regulation buzzer sounded.

“It’s the best basketball team we’ve played,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “And then I thought Sasha was elite today. We’ve done a good job on him most of the time over the last few years, and today he made the difference.

Plummer led the Illini (13-4, 6-1) with 24 points, shooting 6 of 12 from 3s. His layup with 9 seconds left in the first overtime made it 78-all.

Curbelo, who had missed 11 games after being injured, had 20 points, six rebounds and three assists. His field goal with 14 seconds remaining in regulation tied it at 69.

Boilermakers center Zach Edey was effective, especially early on, finishing with 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. He also helped limit Kofi Cockburn to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes before the Illinois center fouled early in the first overtime.

“I thought (Edey) embraced the physicality of the game,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “He didn’t turn the ball over, which was great, and he was ready to play. That’s all. If you can establish your big man and really put them in a bind, that helps everything.

Purdue goaltender Jaden Ivey struggled to hit shots, going 3-of-10, but made 13-of-15 free throws to finish with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Illinois trailed for most of the first overtime, but Curbelo made a turnover jump and Plummer had a layup to force a second overtime.

Edey was a factor early on, scoring 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half. The Boilermakers took an 11-point lead into the break, but two straight points from Plummer and Da’Monte Williams helped Illinois cut the deficit to 39-34 with 17:43 left.

“This win just gives you confidence that you can walk into a hornet’s nest and be up against him a few times and find a way to make a play or stop or get a rebound or make your free throws like we do. did in the end,” Painter said. “Our guys hooked up there.”

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: The Boilermakers are 3-1 this season against the AP’s top 25 opponents, while Illinois is 0-2 against ranked teams. … The Boilermakers have won seven of their last eight games since losing to Rutgers on Dec. 9. … Purdue and Illinois meet in West Lafayette, Indiana on Feb. 10.

Illinois: Curbelo’s return was a welcome development for the Illini. His ability to penetrate and reach the hoop gives added momentum to Underwood’s offense in addition to Cockburn and perimeter shooters such as Plummer and Trent Frazier, who scored 16 in the loss. … The Illini remain in first place in the Big Ten, and another conference contender will come to town next week in Michigan State on Jan. 25.

FOLLOWING

Purdue: In Indiana on Thursday.

Illinois: At Maryland on Friday.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter. com/AP_Top25

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