MINNEAPOLIS (WCIA) — Illinois basketball is playing its best down the home stretch, and doing it in style. The chase to a Big Ten title is alive and well after blasting the Gophers, 94-63 in Minneapolis. The Illini were led by none other than Ayo Dosunmu once again.
Dosunmu scored 19 points, had 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, as the Illini guard is making his case to be Big Ten and National Player of the Year after his second triple-double in two weeks.
“Damn I don’t know who is any better. Literally I know guys have publicity and more marketing and more of this and that but the numbers don’t lie and the productivity doesn’t lie and the winning doesn’t lie and I have no idea who in the hell thinks is any better than him right now,” says head coach Brad Underwood.
Dosunmu is the first player in Illinois history to have two triple-doubles, and just the fifth high major player in the last decade to have two in one season.
“I’m just blessed to be in this position but understand that I’m humble but I’m hungry,” says Dosunmu.
The future All-American led the way against the Gophers but it was his supporting cast that paved the way in the third largest loss in Williams Arena history for the Gophers. When half court shots are going in, you know things are going your way. Senior Trent Frazier hit a buzzer beater half court shot, as the Illini led 48-33 at halftime.
“It’s just me continuing to practice those shots and hopefully they go in. One went in tonight and it’s exciting to see one go in,” says Frazier.
Frazier played one of his best games this season, with 15 points and six steal, while holding Minnesota star Marcus Carr to one of his worst. The future draft pick scored just 12 points on 3-for-11 shooting.
“He’s one of the best defenders in America and tonight was very evident against a pro and six steals and the half court shot to go with it,” said Underwood.
This is the seventh straight win for the Illini, matching last year’s streak as the most for a Brad Underwood team. It’s just the start of five out of the final six games on the road to close out the regualr season. The Illini will play next at Michigan State, on Tuesday. Underwood fairly excited about the opportunities ahead saying “NEXT, who cares, line ’em up, let’s go.”