Champaign, IL, United States (4E Sports) – Aaron Craft scored 14 points and had three steals to lead No. 22 Ohio State over Illinois, 48-39 Saturday at State Farm Center.
LaQuinton Ross added nine points while Shannon Scott accounted for five of Ohio State’s 10 steals.
“I thought the 10 steals in that type of game, that’s a large number,” said Illinois coach John Groce about Ohio State. “I thought they imposed their will on the defensive end, especially in the second half.”
Ohio State (20-6, 7-6 Big Ten), made 38 percent of their shots while holding Illinois to 28.3 percent but trailed 23-20 at halftime.
Ross and Craft each hit a 3-pointer as Ohio State started the second half with a 10-2 run to grab a 30-25 lead.
Egwu’s jumper with 12:55 to play temporarily ended Illinois’ scoring drought but went 8:14 without a field goal.
During that period, Ohio State ignited a 12-0 run, with Marc Loving accounting for eight points, for a 42-29 advantage.
Tracy Abrams tossed in a 3-pointer for with 4:25 to play to end another Illinois drought, making it 42-32.
Egwu had 14 rebounds while Abrams scored 13 points to lead Illinois (14-12, 3-10).
Rayvonte Rice, Illinois’ leading scorer with 16.8 a game coming in, had trouble getting open and finished with 11.