The first half of the Buckeyes' two-game road trip did not go as planned as they fell 84-65 to South Florida on Sunday, but Ohio State rebounded on Tuesday with a decisive 88-69 victory over Illinois.
|#16 Ohio State||16||22||28||22||88|
Offensively, the Buckeyes were led by Kelsey Mitchell and Linnae Harper. The pair combined for 48 points – Mitchell with 28 and Harper with 20 – and Harper pulled down a game-high 12 boards for yet another double-double.
Ohio State was much better on the glass and defensively on Tuesday night. The Buckeyes held Illinois to just 36 percent from the field and 29 percent from three-point range while forcing 17 turnovers leading to 26 Ohio State points the other direction.
|30-65 (46%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||27-76 (36%)|
|12-28 (43%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-24 (29%)|
|16-21 (76%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||8-8 (100%)|
The Buckeyes started hot out the gate, hopping out to a nine-point lead in the first five minutes, but then they went cold, allowing Illinois to climb back into the game. Ohio State shot just 37 percent from the field in the first quarter, and Illinois took advantage, outscoring the Buckeyes 17-3 to close the quarter to take a 21-16 lead into the second.
Ohio State countered in the second quarter, opening the quarter on a 18-2 run to take control of the game. Illinois didn't die, scoring the half's last six points to cut the Buckeye lead to just five at the half.
The Illini scored the first points of the second half, but it was all Ohio State from there. The Buckeyes went on a 13-2 run to take a double digit lead which they held throughout the quarter.
The Illini still didn't quit. Illinois scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to climb within 11 points, but the Illini never managed to cut the lead to single digits. The Buckeyes countered the small run and coasted most of the fourth to complete an 88-69 win.
With the victory, Ohio State improves to 21-6 overall and 10-3 in the Big Ten. Next up, the Buckeyes host Purdue at 1 p.m. on Sunday.