A change in defense and a big second-half run piloted 20th-ranked Ohio State past Illinois on Saturday afternoon at the Schottenstein Center.
Trailing 44-41 in the second half, the Buckeyes went on a 21-2 run en route to a 77-61 victory over the visiting Fighting Illini.
Leading the way for Ohio State was freshman guard D'Angelo Russell, who followed up a poor first half to finish with a game-high 22 points and four assists.
Sophomore forward Marc Loving and senior forward Sam Thompson each scored 13 apiece for the Buckeyes, while senior point guard Shannon Scott added nine points, five assists and four rebounds.
After falling behind by as many as eight points in the first half, Ohio State elected to switch to man-to-man defense the rest of the way. The Buckeyes outscored the Illini 10-3 the rest of the way in the first half.
The Buckeyes shot 59 percent from the field in the first half, but committed nine turnovers as they trailed 37-36 at the intermission. The switch to zone was prompted by Illinois' hot shooting from the outside to start the game. The Illini made 8 of 15 first-half 3-pointers.
Ohio State will next be in action Tuesday at Minnesota.
|27-45 (60.0)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||20-45 (44.4)|
|7-16 (43.8)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||9-24 (37.5)|
|16-22 (72.7)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||12-16 (75.0)|
|26||PTS OFF TURNOVERS||25|
|34||POINTS IN PAINT||14|
- Ohio State has won 10 of its last 12 games against Illinois and the last six in Columbus.
- Ohio State's 21-2 run in the second half was over the span of 6 minutes, 33 seconds. Illinois went without a field goal during that stretch.
- Saturday's win was Ohio State's first when trailing at the half this season.
- The Buckeyes shot 60 percent from the field in a Big Ten game for the first time since the Purdue game in the 2012 Big Ten tournament.
- D'Angelo Russell's 22 points puts him in double figures for 13-straight games.
- Marc Loving tied his career-high with eight rebounds against the Illini.
- Ohio State has shot 60 percent or better from the field six times and 50 percent or higher 10 times. The Buckeyes are undefeated when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor.
- Ohio State has won 16 of the last 18 meetings with Illinois when the Buckeyes are playing as a ranked team.