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Men's basketball: Illinois pastes Northwestern, avenges earlier loss

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(AP)
Illinois' Nnanna Egwu (32) battles Northwestern's Mike Turner for a rebound during the Illini's 61-42 victory Sunday in Evanston.

EVANSTON – Out to prove how different transformative a month can be, Illinois revealed what a complete makeover looks like.

The Illini (19-8, 6-7), now winners of four straight, avenged their worst loss on their resume by paying back Northwestern Sunday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena with a punishing 62-41 victory.

Northwestern (13-13, 4-9) went 9 minutes without scoring as Illinois used a 26-0 run between the halves to build a 45-15 lead.

D.J. Richardson led the Ilini for a second-straight game with 18 points to go with eight rebounds.

Reggie Hearn led Northwestern with 11 points.

After a 7-0 start, the only surprise was some Illinois students posing as Northwestern fans who stripped their purple gear to reveal orange in a timeout contest.

The Orange Krush cheering section ended the night by chanting “This is our house.”

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