A classic tale of two halves.
In the first half of Wednesday night's game between No. 19 Ohio State (8-1) and Illinois (2-7), the Illini controlled the pace, the Buckeyes committed 10 turnovers, Kaleb Wesson got into early foul trouble and Illinois ended the first 20 minutes on a 16-4 run to enter the break with a four-point lead.
|#19 OHIO STATE (8-1)||34||43||77|
But Keyshawn Woods and an energized Wesson helped turn the tides in the second half. Twelve of Woods' 18 points and eight of Wesson's 13 points came in the final 20 minutes, and Ohio State hit 57 percent of its shots in the second half compared to Illinois hitting 27 percent of its shots during the same stretch. The Buckeyes beat the Illini, 77-67, Wednesday night at the United Center in Chicago.
The Buckeyes held a 43-29 advantage in the second half, though Illinois threatened a late comeback when their turnover issues reappeared. They turned the ball of 19 times, despite the victory. Illinois had 26 points off turnovers.
Ohio State shot 47 percent and held Illinois to 33 percent shooting. The Buckeyes had a 38-34 rebounding edge.
|24-51 (47.1%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||19-58 (32.8%)|
|6-17 (35.3%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||6-19 (31.6%)|
|23-32 (71.9%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||23-27 (85.2%)|
In his first game after returning from missing a game with a dislocated shoulder, Luther Muhammad started and had six points. Duane Washington Jr., a fellow freshman guard, added nine points off the bench. Musa Jallow had 11 points.
Both Ohio State and Illinois traded stretches of dominant play in the first half.
The Buckeyes had a 9-0 run and a 7-0 run, and the Illini had a 9-0 run and a pair of 7-0 runs. Illinois controlled the pace, pushing it to a frenetic, up-and-down contest that favored them.
Wesson picked up a pair of early fouls and sat for nearly all of the final nine minutes of the first half. Ohio State held an eight-point lead with 9:17 remaining in the opening half, but that quickly dwindled. The Buckeyes struggled to hang on to the ball, turning it over 10 times in the first half, which opened the door for Illinois.
The Illini ended the first half on a 16-4 run, fueled by Ohio State turnovers.