3 takeaways from Illinois' convincing road win over Ohio State
Illinois took care of business on Tuesday night in Columbus with a 87-75 win over Ohio State.
It was an offense-heavy night with both teams shooting at least 50% from the floor, but the Illini got the job done in the end thanks to a strong performance at the free throw line.
Here are 3 takeaways from Illinois’ win:
Elite shooting performance
Illinois had an incredible night offensively. The Illini shot 51.7% from the floor, 41.2% from 3-point range and 90% from the free throw line. The performance at the 3-point line (7-of-17) and the charity stripe (18-of-20) was the difference in the game, as Ohio State also had a strong night from the field (50% shooting).
Marcus Domask and Terrence Shannon Jr. each had 23 points in the win. Domask went 7-of-12 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the foul line. Shannon was 7-of-17 from the field and 6-of-6 from the stripe. Shannon also chipped in a trio of 3-point makes on 7 attempts.
Ty Rodgers (13 points) was the only other Illinois player to score in double figures. Rodgers also had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Marcus Domask’s continued emergence
Domask stepped up as Illinois’ top offensive threat during Shannon’s absence. But even with Shannon back in the lineup, Domask has remained a consistent presence in Illinois’ offensive game plan.
With this 23-point performance, Domask has now scored in double figures in 11 consecutive games. This streak follows a tough start to the year, when Domask reached double digits just 3 times in his first 9 games with the Illini.
Having Domask as an addition primary option offensively should give Illinois a big boost in March.
Still on track
Illinois remains on track to compete for the Big Ten title and a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Illini dropped out of the top 10 in the AP Top 25 this week after losing to Northwestern, but they could be back before too much longer. Illinois has now won back-to-back games against Indiana and now the Buckeyes.
Illinois is the No. 9 team in the country, according to KenPom’s ratings. At 7-3, Illinois is just 1.5 games back of league-leaders Wisconsin. Illinois will face the Badgers in Madison on March 2.
Illinois will be looking to make the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament this March for the first time under Brad Underwood.