Illinois coach Brad Underwood sounds off after narrow win over Ohio
Illinois coach Brad Underwood was frustrated — and a bit relieved — after his team edged out a 77-75 win over Ohio on Friday afternoon.
“Give Ohio credit,” Underwood told reporters after the game. “That’s a veteran team who was playing a top 10 team and they had every desire to come in here and beat our ass, and almost did.”
— Marlee Wierda (@WCIA3Marlee) November 27, 2020
Illinois led early on, but found itself in a back-and-forth contest for much of the second half. Ohio went up by one in the final minute, but Ayo Dosunmu got to the free throw line with a few seconds remaining and put the Illini back in front.
Ohio wasn’t able to answer on its ensuing possession, securing the Illini’s win.
This game featured what may end up being the best battle between guards in the entire college basketball season.
On one end was Dosunmu, who put up 27 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists in 38 minutes. But the Bobcats had a response in the form of Jason Preston, who scored 31 points and added 8 assists to 0 turnovers.
Underwood called Preston “one of the best guards in the country.”
“He’s an NBA talent,” Underwood said. “We couldn’t speed him up, that’s what was most impressive.”
Kofi Cockburn was also big for Illinois, scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
In any case, Illinois is now 3-0 on the season with games looming vs. top 10 opponents in Duke and Baylor.