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NCAA Game Summary - Ohio State at Illinois



(Saturday, February 15th)

Final Score: (22) Ohio State 48, Illinois 39

Champaign, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Craft led with 14 points as the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini, 48-39, at State Farm Center.

LaQuinton Ross supplied nine points and six rebounds, while Marc Loving had eight points off the bench for the Buckeyes (20-6, 7-6 Big Ten), who have won four of their last five.

Tracy Abrams scored 13 points, Rayvonte Rice contributed 11, and Nnanna Egwu had 14 boards for the Fighting Illini (14-12, 3-10), who have dropped two straight and 10 of their last 11. Illinois shot 28.3 percent (15-of-53) from the field.

"Obviously our offense was anemic today. I thought Ohio State's defense had a lot to do with that. They imposed their will defensively." said Illinois coach John Groce.

Craft's 3-point play brought the Buckeyes within 10-9 nearly five minutes into the game. Craft accounted for seven of Ohio State's first nine points.

A few minutes later, Egwu tipped in Joseph Bertrand's miss and Abrams knocked down a three to give the Illini a 15-9 lead

Ross' layup ignited a 7-2 run that contained a three from Amedeo Della Valle and a layup from Shannon Scott that capped the run at 7:47 to get the Buckeyes within 17-16.

Trailing 23-20 at the break, Ross drained a three to tie the game 22 seconds into the half.

Craft knocked down a three in the midst of a 7-0 spurt for the Buckeyes that ended with a jumper from Lenzelle Smith Jr. that made it a 30-25 game with 13:28 to go.

Illinois got within one on a pair of free throws from Abrams, but Ohio State built a healthy lead thanks to a 12-0 run. Loving was strong, scoring the final eight points to give the Buckeyes a 42-29 lead with 5:25 remaining.

Rice's triple and two layups gave the Fighting Illini six straight points to make it 44-39 with a minute left. Smith and Craft both hit a pair of free throws to account for the final score.

Game Notes

Ohio State has won the last three games and four of the last five over Illinois ... Illinois held a 36-34 rebounding edge ... Ohio State had 17 points off the bench compared to Illinois' two ... The Fighting Illini were outscored in the paint, 20-12.

02/16 02:12:55 ET

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