Ohio State basketball survives Illinois' comeback attempt, moves up B1G standings
A season of unprecedented parity in the Big Ten just got another dose of upheaval.
Suddenly streaking Ohio State is making a run, knocking off Illinois on Saturday afternoon. A big effort from forward E.J. Liddell, who hails from Illinois, sparked the statement win.
It was an 87-81 win from the No. 21 Buckeyes at No. 14 Illinois. With the win, Ohio State improves to 11-3. Illinois has lost two straight and is now 9-5.
It was a balanced scoring effort from Ohio State, with four scorers in double-digits. They were led by the aforementioned Liddell who had a career-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting. He was also an impressive 4-of-7 from three-point range.
It was all part of a Buckeyes shooting effort that saw them go 53.7 percent from the floor and 52.4 percent behind the arc in the upset win.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) January 16, 2021
The Buckeyes were keyed by a 22-4 run in the first half to pull out to a 39-24 halftime lead.
It wasn’t a bad performance from Illinois but they were no match for a hot shooting Buckeyes team. A late game run by the home team, however, simply wasn’t enough to overcome the deep hole dug by the Illini.
Ohio State was up by 10 points with 2:30 left in the game and appeared to be in cruise control. But a 9-2 run by the Illini wasn’t enough as Ohio State hit their free throws to close out the game.
Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu led the way for the Illini with 22 points and four rebounds.
The win is Ohio State’s third straight, two of which have now come against ranked Big Ten teams.