linois Fighting Illini fans cheer before the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at State Farm Center on February 15, 2014 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Hide Caption

No. 22 Ohio State shuts down Illinois, 48-39

a a a a
Share this story

Aaron Craft scored 14 points and No. 22 Ohio State held Illinois to 28.3 percent shooting on the way to a scrappy 48-39 win on Saturday.

Craft picked up two early fouls and spent two long stretches on the bench. But he was still the Buckeyes' best option on a tough offensive night for each team.

LaQuinton Ross added nine points for Ohio State (20-6, 7-6 Big Ten), which trailed 23-20 at halftime. The Buckeyes made 38 percent of their shots.

Illinois (14-12, 3-10) scored just nine points over the first 15:35 minutes of the second half.

Tracy Abrams led Illinois with 13 points. Nnanna Egwu had a career-high 14 rebounds but fouled out late.

While each team struggled with its shooting, defense also played a key role.

The Illini paid close attention to Ross, who was averaging a team-high 14.6 points. He had just one field goal in the second half and was 3 for 8 from the field for the game.

Rayvonte Rice, Illinois' leading scorer, had trouble getting open for much of the game. He had seven late points to finish with 11.

Illinois' shooting percentage was a sickly 29 percent in the first half. But the Illini still had the lead at the break, using their defense and a flurry of early 3-pointers to grab the advantage.

But that poor shooting percentage kept getting lower as the game went along.

The Illini hit just one of their first nine shots in the second half, a seven-minute stretch during which the Buckeyes put together a 10-2 run to take a 30-25 lead.

Egwu's jumper with 12:55 to play temporarily ended Illinois' scoring drought.

But the Buckeyes eventually pulled away. Amedeo Della Valle had a layup and Marc Loving made consecutive jump shots to put the Buckeyes up 38-29.

While the Buckeyes managed to find a little offense, Illinois was missing — jumpers and finger rolls and even a dunk attempt by Jon Ekey that skidded harmlessly across the top of the rim.

Illinois went 8:14 without a field goal before Abrams tossed in a 3-pointer with 4:25 to play, making it 42-32.

The Illini have lost 10 of 11.

___

Follow David Mercer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidmercerap

 

Follow David Mercer on Twitter @DavidMercerAP

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More OSU Sports
Dayton beats OSU for first upset of NCAA Tourney
Dayton beats OSU for first upset of NCAA Tourney

Vee Sanford scored on a layup with 3.8 seconds left to lift 11th-seeded Dayton to a 60-59 victory over sixth-seeded Ohio State in…

Ohio State meets Dayton in NCAA South Region
Ohio State meets Dayton in NCAA South Region

Sixth-seeded Ohio State meets 11th-seeded Dayton in the second round of the NCAA tournament's South Region.

OSU comes up short against Michigan, 72-69
OSU comes up short against Michigan, 72-69

No. 8 Michigan blew a 12-point second-half lead, then finished the game on a 7-1 run to beat archrival Ohio State 72-69 in…

OSU comes back from 18 down to beat Huskers
OSU comes back from 18 down to beat Huskers

Fourth-seeded Nebraska blew an 18-point second-half lead in a 71-67 loss to fifth-seeded Ohio State on Friday in the quarterfinals.  

OSU holds off Purdue 63-61 in Big Ten tourney
OSU holds off Purdue 63-61 in Big Ten tourney

LaQuinton Ross scored 19 points and Aaron Craft finished with 16 on Thursday, helping No. 24 Ohio State hang on for a 63-61 victory over…

OSU scores last 4 in 69-67 win over No. 22 MSU
OSU scores last 4 in 69-67 win over No. 22 MSU

LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points and Aaron Craft added 12, including a late free throw, to lead Ohio State past No. 22 Michigan State 69-67 on…

Short-handed Indiana beats No. 22 OSU 72-64
Short-handed Indiana beats No. 22 OSU 72-64

Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell scored 20 points and Will Sheehey added 19 on Sunday, leading Indiana past No. 22 Ohio State 72-64.

OSU comes from behind to beat Minnesota, 64-46
OSU comes from behind to beat Minnesota, 64-46

Sam Thompson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, leading No. 24 Ohio State back from a 12-point deficit to a 64-46 victory over…

No. 22 Ohio State shuts down Illinois, 48-39
No. 22 Ohio State shuts down Illinois, 48-39

Aaron Craft scored 14 points and No. 22 Ohio State held Illinois to 28.3 percent shooting on the way to a scrappy 48-39 win on Saturday.

Ross' 17, Smith's 16 lead OSU past Purdue, 67-49
Ross' 17, Smith's 16 lead OSU past Purdue, 67-49

Lenzelle Smith Jr., starting his 100th game, hit 4 of 7 3-pointers and scored 16 points to lead Ohio State past Purdue 67-49…