Mike Davis and the Illini thought hard about those moments before Saturday's regular season-ending meeting the Hoosiers.
"Last night we used film of them storming the court, their coach running and kissing his wife, as motivation," Davis said, adding that the Hoosiers' failure to shake hands with the Illini after the game was just salt in a stinging wound.
Davis and the Illini had their payback Saturday with a 72-48 win that, aside from the opening few minutes, was never in doubt. Davis finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Demetri McCamey had a game-high 22 points.
It was a big, badly needed win for Illinois (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten). The Illini finish the regular season with a .500 record in conference play that shores up what had become — with losses to Indiana, Northwestern and Illinois-Chicago — a spotty resume for the NCAA tournament. It also give Illinois a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament next week in Indianapolis.
For the Hoosiers, an eighth-straight loss was an embarrassment, said Verdell Jones, a Champaign native. And 31.6 percent shooting — including a dismal 24.1 percent in the second half and 3-17 from 3-point range — was only a piece of the problem.
"Our performance explains itself," Jones said. "We couldn't hit anything on the offensive end, but it all started not guarding anyone."
"Disappointing, embarrassing," he added. "We've worked too hard to come out here and play like we did."
Illinois never trailed and opened up a 19-point lead at 34-15 on a McCamey layup with just over six minutes left in the first half.
The lead grew to as much as 29 at 72-43 late in the second half on a bucket by reserve Joseph Bertrand.
Illinois' critics might point out that the opposition was only Indiana, a team guaranteed to at least share last place in the conference.
But McCamey and Davis looked from the early minutes Saturday like players with something to prove.
They are two of the four seniors — along with Mike Tisdale and Bill Cole — on a team that has been pointing for a long time to this year as the payoff to an up-and-down five seasons since Illinois lost the 2005 NCAA final. The Illini have missed the tournament twice since then and exited early two more times.
Instead, after starting the year in the Associated Press Top 25, the Illini needed the win Saturday just to even their Big Ten record and avoid a hard-to-explain second loss to the Hoosiers.
"I just had to go out and try to perform and be aggressive early," said McCamey, who struggled through a midseason slump that helped drag his team down. "I think I did that."
McCamey hit a pair of early 3-pointers that, with Indiana hanging close, turned small leads into bigger ones. He had 16 points by halftime, the biggest reason for Illinois' 46-27 lead. Davis had a quiet 11 points in the first 20 minutes that, on another night, would have made him the star of the game.
The shot, though, that might have crippled Indiana most was a layup with 12:12 to play in the half.
It came off a Hoosiers turnover and McCamey, on the break, found the net and drew a foul by Jeremiah Rivers.
The free throw made the score 21-9 and the Hoosiers struggled to get any closer the rest of the half.
Turnovers, even though there weren't that many — five in the first half and 10 for the game — cost the Hoosiers.
"(At the half) it seemed like we had 15 turnovers, but we really only had five," Crean said. "They were costly because of where they happened. We dribbled into traffic, and we tried to make plays that weren't there."
McCamey, on the other hand, created plays where there probably shouldn't have been any.
Running the Illini offense from the right side of the key with about 6:35 left in the first half, McCamey dribbled to Victor Oladipo's right, then his left, before finally going by the helpless guard and firing a one-handed pass at Davis that the forward wasn't ready to handle. Davis just managed to hold onto the ball, kicking it back out to the perimeter where Bill Cole spotted McCamey sprinting toward the basket from the left baseline and hit him for a layup.
The Illini were up 34-15, and Indiana didn't have much of an answer.
The Hoosiers were led by Jones' 12. Jordan Hulls was held to four points — and was 0 for 7 from the field — after scoring 18 in a win over the Illini in their last meeting in January.
"I felt like we were ready to play, ready to execute and do the things we needed to win," Hulls said. "But apparently we didn't do that."
Illinois coach Bruce Weber said he wasn't particularly offended by Crean and the Hoosiers' celebration back in January. But that loss and Saturday's win were equally big, the Illini coach said.
"They beat us, and it was a difficult loss at that time — it was one of the games that kind of put us in a tail spin and our guys remember it," he said.
"Slowly but surely," he said, "we're putting the puzzle back together."