Ohio State couldn't get over the hump.
After climbing back from a five-game release streak to get back to .500 in Big Ten play, the Buckeyes couldn't keep it rolling. Their three-game winning streak at the beginning of February came to a halt when they fell, 63-56, to Illinois Thursday night at the Schottenstein Center.
|OHIO STATE (16-8)||27||29||56|
The loss dropped Ohio State to 1
Ayo Dosunmu buried a 3-pointer to the Illini's lead to six points with 29.3 seconds remaining.
Ohio State has struggled to control the ball this season, and that certainly did not end up against Illinois, which has one of the better opponent turnover rates in the country. The Buckeyes coughed up the ball 18 times, though many were unforced errors considering Illini had just seven steals. C.J. Jackson tied and career high with a team-high seven turnovers.
Trent Frazier and Dosunmu suffered Illinois with 15 points. Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored 13 points.
FGM FGA (PCT) 24-54 (44.4%)
 2-13 (15.4%)
3 PM-3PA (PCT.) 6-21 (28.6%)
FTM-FTA (PCT.) 9-17 (52.9%)
The Buckeyes made just 36 percent of their shots from the field and went 2-for-13 from 3-point range. Illinois shot 44 percent and was 6-for-21 from beyond the arc.
Jackson had issues turning the ball over, but had 17 points and five rebounds. He hit 8-of-11 free throws. Both Wesson brothers also finished in double figures. Andre Wesson had 10 points and five rebounds, while Kaleb Wesson scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young each and every one of them, depleted of the Buckeyes in the final minutes of the second half.
The Buckeyes and Illini split the regular-season series. Ohio State beat Illinois, 77-67, on Dec. 5 in the team's second game of conference play.
Next up: Ohio State takes on No. 11 Michigan State (20-5, 11-3 Big Ten) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan. The Buckeyes lost to the Spartans, 86-77, on Jan. 5 at the Schottenstein Center.
- Luther Muhammad had an injury scare in the first half. He exited the game, holding his arm, but reentered shortly after leaving. He had an elbow contusion, but played 29 minutes.
- Ohio State hit 9-of-19 layups.
- Duane Washington Jr. Threw down a pair of dunks that fired up the home crowd.
- Ryan Day and the entire Ohio State football coaching staff were introduced to the crowd at halftime. Larry Johnson, Greg Mattison, Jeff Hafley, Al Washington, Matt Barnes, Mike Yurcich, Brian Hartline, Greg Studrawa, Kevin and Mickey Marotti were in attendance. Tony Alford couldn't make the game.
- With the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA All-Star break, Keita Bates-Diop returned to Columbus and was honored during a timeout.
- Wide receiver Chris Olave was at the game.
- Ohio State track and field and cross country director Karen Dennis was honored during a timeout due to her induction into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame.