COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCIA) — A poor first half put Illinois (19-10, 10-8) behind the eight ball on Sunday, but a late second half comeback was not enough to beat Ohio State (12-17, 4-14) as they fall 72-60.
The Illini struggled holding the Buckeyes in the first, allowing them to shoot 61 percent from the field and take a 12 point lead into the locker room. Terrence Shannon Jr. made just one shot for two points, while Coleman Hawkins tried to keep the game competitive with 10 points before the break.
Fortunes changed coming out of half, with Illinois cutting into the lead with a 12-4 run led by two Shannon and-ones. The Illini cut things to within one point, the closest they had gotten since leading in the opening minutes of the game. But OSU made four straight shoots to extend the lead back out to 10 before the final media timeout. The Illini have still yet to win a game in the Big Ten when allowing their opponent to score more than 70 points.
“We had no life, we had nothing,” Brad Underwood said. “We’re just playing with no nasty, with no grit right now and as much grit as I thought we had in the second half against Northwestern, we gave it all back today.”
“I just think we kind of overlooked them tonight, we didn’t come out prepared,” Ty Rodgers said. “I think we were still hungover from the Northwestern game, I just think we were in our heads too much.”
“We had a chance to be part of a regular season championship, I think we should have all been motivated by that,” Hawkins said.
Illinois closes its State Farm Center schedule against Michigan on Thursday, the only meeting with the Wolverines this season. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.