Tracy Abrams' second half Thursday was as good as any game he had during the Big Ten season.
Illinois' junior guard scored 17 of his season-high 25 points in the second half, including a game-clinching run in the No. 9-seeded Illini's 64-54 win over No. 8 seed Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
"I am not concerned about the points," Abrams said. "I am just glad we were able to pull it out and fight as a team and a unit."
Abrams hadn't scored more than 17 points in a game during the conference regular season. But he seized the moment Thursday for Illinois (19-13).
Make that moments.
After the Hoosiers (17-15) turned a 30-28 halftime deficit into a 38-33 lead, Abrams scored five straight points to tie the game. That started a 14-2 run by the Illini.
The Hoosiers answered, pulling within 47-46 on a layup by Yogi Ferrell. But Abrams again had the answer, hitting one of his two 3-pointers to make it a 50-46 game.
And when the Hoosiers again pulled within one, on an Austin Etherington layup to make it 53-52 with 3:13 to play, Abrams had the final answer, hitting his second 3-pointer.
"It was a defensive mistake," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "It's something we practice. We didn't get into that rotation as quickly as we needed to."
No. 24 Ohio St. 63, Purdue 61: LaQuinton Ross scored 19 points and Aaron Craft finished with 16, helping Ohio State hang on against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament.
The win sent the defending tourney champs into today's quarterfinals against fourth-seeded Nebraska.
Purdue (15-17) didn't make it easy on the fifth-seeded Buckeyes (24-8).
A.J. Hammons finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while senior Terone Johnson finished with 10 for the 12th seeded Boilermakers, who were eliminated after a seventh straight loss.
Northwestern 67, Iowa 62: Tre Demps had 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and Drew Crawford added 15 points and six assists to lead 11th-seeded Northwestern to a victory over No. 6 Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Wildcats (14-18) became the first 11th-seed to win in the Big Ten tournament. They went on a 7-2 run when Crawford made a lay-up to give the Wildcats a 55-51 lead with 3:52 remaining before Alex Olah drew a charge and scored a pair of free throws.
Dave Sobolewski hit a 3-pointer with 2:20 remaining to give the Wildcats a 60-53 advantage.
Roy Devyn Marble had 25 points and Jarrod Uthoff finished with 17 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the sixth-seeded Hawkeyes (20-11), who have lost 6-of-7 games.
The Wildcats, who lost 7 of 8 games heading into the contest, will face No. 22 Michigan State in the quarterfinal today.
Minnesota 63, Penn St. 56: Austin Hollins scored 18 points; Deandre Mathieu added 13, and Andre Hollins hit a late 3-pointer to give Minnesota a badly needed win over Penn State (15-17) in the Big Ten tournament.
The seventh-seeded Golden Gophers (20-12) advanced to tonight's quarterfinal against No. 12 Wisconsin with their third win in four games.
No. 14 Creighton 84, DePaul 62: Doug McDermott put on a dazzling shooting display in his Big East tournament debut, scoring a record 27 of his 35 points in the first half for Creighton during a victory over DePaul.
The nation's leading scorer hit six of his first seven 3-point attempts, sending the second-seeded Bluejays (25-6) into the semifinals tonight.
Brandon Young had 22 points in his final college game for 10th-seeded DePaul (12-21).
Seton Hall 64, No. 3 Villanova 63: Sterling Gibbs hit a step-back jumper at the buzzer, and Pirates stunned the Wildcats in a thrilling Big East quarterfinal, a loss that could cost Villanova (28-4) a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Eugene Teague had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the eighth-seeded Pirates (17-16), who advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals for the first time in 13 years.
No. 4 Arizona 71, Utah 39: Nick Johnson scored 14 points; T.J. McConnell added 13, and Arizona (29-3) overwhelmed Utah (21-11) defensively in a rout that tied for the most lopsided game in Pac-12 tournament history.
No. 5 Louisville 92, Rutgers 31: Chris Jones scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half, and Louisville (27-5) routed Rutgers (12-21) in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
No. 8 San Diego State 73, Utah State 39: Xavier Thames scored 15 points and dished seven assists to lead San Diego State over Utah State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West tournament.
No. 10 Kansas 77, Oklahoma State 70, OT: Andrew Wiggins scored 30 points; Wayne Selden Jr. had 14, and Kansas pulled away in the final seconds of overtime victory over Oklahoma State (21-12) in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
The top-seeded Jayhawks (24-8) will face fourth-seeded Iowa State in tonight's semifinals.
No. 16 Iowa State 91, Kansas State 85: Melvin Ejim had 24 points and 10 rebounds; Dustin Hogue added 19 points and 10 boards, and Iowa State (24-7) held on through a tense final minute to beat Kansas State (20-12) in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
Baylor 78, No. 17 Oklahoma 73: Isaiah Austin scored 18 points, and Baylor held on after blowing most of a 21-point lead for a victory over Oklahoma (23-9) in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals. Cory Jefferson added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the No. 7 seed Bears (23-10), who became the first lower-seeded team to win in this year's tournament.