Rapid Reaction: Ohio State 83, Illinois 67
February, 21, 2012
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
Here’s a quick look at No. 9 Ohio State's 83-67 win over Illinois on Tuesday.
How it happened: In the teams’ first meeting of the season on Jan. 10, It took a special 43-point effort by Brandon Paul for Illinois to upset Ohio State. The Buckeyes weren’t going to allow something like that to happen again, building a 28-8 lead within the first nine minutes on unbelievable shooting. Ohio State connected on 16 of its first 19 shots and built its advantage to 40-18 later in the first half. Ohio State shot 65 percent from the field for the game. Paul was 2-of-10 shooting for nine points.
What it means: The Illini’s woes are getting worse. They’ve lost six games in a row and nine of their last 10. Tuesday’s loss guaranteed their first Big Ten losing record since they went 5-13 in the 2007-08 season. Illinois’ only hope of making the NCAA tournament will now be finishing the conference season strong and making a run in the conference tournament. For Ohio State, the win kept it in the Big Ten title race. It improved to 13-4 in conference.
Player of the game: Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas scored a team-high 19 points and was 6-of-8 from the field. He also went 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
Illinois player of the game: Meyers Leonard looked like one of the few Illini who came to play on Tuesday. Leonard scored a game-high 21 points. The next highest Illinois scorer was D.J. Richardson with 12 points. Leonard held Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger to nine points and six rebounds. Sullinger also fouled out.
What’s next: Illinois returns home for its next two games. It faces Iowa on Sunday and Michigan on March 1. Ohio State hosts Wisconsin on Sunday.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State