Sixth-ranked Ohio State dominates Illinois
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) – Daequan Cook scored 13 points, but it was
Greg Oden’s four blocks and a Buckeye defense that held Illinois to 24 percent
shooting that pushed sixth-ranked Ohio State to a 62-44 victory at Assembly
Jamar Butler added 12 points, while Othello Hunter and Ron Lewis added 10
points apiece for the Buckeyes (13-2, 2-0 Big Ten), who have won three
straight since the loss at Florida.
Oden had only seven points on 3-of-12 shooting, but collected 15 rebounds in
Warren Carter had 11 points for the Illini (12-5, 0-2), who have lost three
straight since knocking off Missouri.
The story of the Ohio State’s victory was defense, a suffocating effort that
forced Illinois to 3-of-23 from beyond the arc.
Illinois didn’t make a field goal in the final 6:39 of the first half, as the
Buckeyes enlarged a six-point edge to 36-22 by halftime.
David Lighty’s layup followed by Lewis’ three-pointer opened a 34-18 lead with
3:13 remaining in the half, and the Buckeyes held serve for the final three-
Illinois never got closer than 12 points in the second half. Cook’s trey made
the score 50-31 with 11:19 on the clock, then his second consecutive three
followed by an Oden dunk made the score 55-31.
The Buckeyes cruised to victory from there.
Illinois was held to its lowest first-half output of the season, and faced its
biggest halftime deficit…The Buckeyes have won the last three meetings
overall and snapped Illinois’ five-game winning streak in the series at
Assembly Hall…Ohio State shot 35 percent from the floor and drained nine