ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WCIA) — Ayo Dosunmu is clutch.
The sophomore hit a tough free throw line pull up with less than one second left in a tie game at Michigan Saturday, the game winning shot gave Illinois its sixth straight win, 64-62.
“I just wanted to get the last shot, I work on my move, I work on my mid-range game everyday in practice. That’s repetition, that’s hard work, and dedication,” Dosunmu said. “So when I got into my move, I was confident, I believed I was going to make the shot. I talked to one of my teammates, Tyler (Underwood), and I said, ‘Yeah, we going home here.'”
“It wasn’t a very long discussion among the coaches,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said about the game winning shot. “I’ve seen him practice that shot a million times, he stops on a dime. It’s what great players do. That last play was guarded as well as you could possibly guard it. We were playing for the last shot, and I’m glad he’s in our uniform and on our team.”
Dosunmu scored a career high 27 points, making 11 of his 18 field goals to lead the Illini to solo possession of first place in the Big Ten. Illinois is off to its best nine-game start in the Big Ten (7-2) since starting 15-0 in 2005, the same year it went to the Final Four. The victory snaps a five-game losing streak in Ann Arbor spanning nearly 10 years. Illinois’ last victory at Crisler Center was in 2010.
Andres Feliz added 15 points off the bench, with 10 more coming from Trent Frazier, who was limited with foul trouble much of the game only playing 21 minutes.
Illinois extends its conference best winning streak to six games and is now the only team in the league with four road wins. This is now the first time ever the Illini have won at Wisconsin, Purdue, and Michigan in the same month. January has been nothing short of impressive for the Illini, with the only loss at Michigan State. They’ll end a near-perfect month with a home date against Minnesota on Thursday night.