Purdue faces tough test vs No. 21 Illinois
No. 21 Illinois (13-5, 5-2) vs. Purdue (10-8, 3-4)
Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: No. 21 Illinois presents a tough challenge for Purdue. Purdue has won three of its six games against ranked opponents this season. Illinois has won its last four games against conference opponents.
STEPPING UP: Trevion Williams has averaged 11.2 points and 7.8 rebounds to lead the charge for the Boilermakers. Complementing Williams is Eric Hunter Jr., who is putting up 10.8 points per game. The Fighting Illini are led by Kofi Cockburn, who is averaging 14.6 points and 9.4 rebounds.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Fighting Illini have given up just 60.9 points per game to Big Ten opponents thus far, an improvement from the 67.5 per game they gave up in non-conference play.
FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Williams has accounted for 45 percent of all Purdue field goals over the last three games. The sophomore forward has 27 field goals and seven assists in those games.
LONG-RANGE THREAT: Illinois’s Trent Frazier has attempted 90 3-pointers and connected on 34.4 percent of them, and is 9 for 30 over the last five games.
STREAK STATS: Purdue has won its last seven home games, scoring an average of 78.9 points while giving up 52.
STINGY DEFENSE: Purdue has held opposing teams to 59.4 points per game this year, the 10th-lowest figure among all Division I teams.