Ayo Time: Illinois' Dosunmu takes over late in top-10 battle vs Ohio State
Saturday’s game was an example of B1G basketball at its best with Illinois and Ohio State trading buckets late in the game.
After a back-and-forth first half, the two teams produced much of the same after the break. With the two sides potentially fighting it out for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, both teams produced plenty of fireworks.
In the second half, it was Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell that began to take the game over. After a slow start, he exploded for 19 points in the game to lead the Buckeyes.
He also forced Illinois center Kofi Cockburn into foul trouble with a strong and-one bucket with seven minutes left in the game:
Another big E.J. Liddell bucket. 💪
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 6, 2021
Liddell also made a three-pointer with 3:48 remaining, pushing the Buckeyes’ lead to 68-64 and setting up a dramatic finish to the game. Unfortunately for Ohio State, Illinois would finish on a 9-0 run powered by Ayo Dosunmu.
Dosunmu started the comeback with a made free throw before Da’Monte Williams tied the game at 68-all with a three-pointer of his own. That is when Ayo took over.
Dosunmu finished the game by scoring the final five points, including a crucial and-one bucket to give the Illini the lead for good with 44 seconds remaining. Liddell missed his shot on the ensuing possession with Dosunmu grabbing the rebound and hitting two free throws from the line to give Illinois the 73-68 victory.
— Illinois on BTN (@IllinoisOnBTN) March 6, 2021
The current projection for the NCAA Tournament has Illinois squarely as a No. 1 seed with the win over the Buckeyes. For Ohio State, it is hard to imagine the Buckeyes falling any lower than a No. 2 seed, but a deep run in the B1G Tournament could have them back in the conversation for a No. 1 seed.