Jan. 10, 2012
Illinois 79, #5/5 Ohio State 74
Illinois Postgame Notes
Jan. 10, 2012 // Assembly Hall, Champaign, Ill. // Attendance: 14,636
1. Illinois, which overcame its largest deficit of the season of 11 points (45-34), earned its first victory over a top-five opponent since knocking off No. 5 Michigan State on Feb. 6, 2010. The Illini, who snapped a five-game losing streak against OSU, are now 3-2 in home games versus top-five teams and 4-8 all-time against top-five opponents under head coach Bruce Weber.
2. Brandon Paul scored the third-most points in school history with 43, coming in behind only Dave Downey's 53 on 2/16/63 and Andy Kaufmann's 46 on 12/3/90. Paul's 43 points also equaled the second-highest point total in the NCAA this season, behind only Creighton's Doug McDermott, who scored 44 points vs. Bradley on Jan. 7. Entering tonight, Paul's career-high was 23 points.
3. Paul matched Dee Brown, Trent Meacham and Kevin Turner for the most three-pointers (8) ever by an Illinois player, draining 8-of-10 from distance. He also scored the most points by any player against the Buckeyes this season, nearly doubling Austin Rivers' previous mark of 22.
4. Trailing 66-64 with 2:40 remaining, Paul outscored the Buckeyes 15-8 down the stretch, accounting for all of Illinois' points while hitting 2-of-2 three-pointers and 9-of-10 free throws. Paul also had a team-high eight rebounds and a career-high four blocks, including a key one late on Jared Sullinger with 30 seconds remaining.
5. The Illini turned in the best shooting performance of the season against Ohio State, connecting on a season-best 27-of-45 (60 percent) from the field. The previous best mark against the Buckeyes was 58.3 percent (28-of-48) by Kansas.
6. Illinois also had its top shooting performance of the season in each half. The Illini hit 15-of-26 (57.7 percent) from the field in the first frame and 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) in the second stanza.
7. With the win, Illinois is now 11-0 at home this season and has won 14 consecutive contests at Assembly Hall dating back to last season. The victory also marks the sixth straight Big Ten home victory.
8. Illinois improves to 6-1 in games decided by five or fewer points on the season with the win. The Illini are also 10-1 in games decided by single digits.
9. The Orange and Blue came back from a halftime deficit for the fifth time this season, outscoring Ohio State 45-35 in the second stanza after trailing 39-34 at the break. Illinois is now 6-3 in games they have trailed or been tied at the half. Last season, the Illini were 1-8 in those games.
10. Joseph Bertrand continued his solid shooting streak, hitting 5-of-7 field goals and scoring 10 points. In the previous six contests, Bertrand has connected on 35-of-54 (64.8 percent) from the field and is averaging 14.2 points per game.
11. Neither team recorded bench points on the night.
12. Senior Sam Maniscalco did not play in the contest, the third consecutive game he has missed with an ankle injury.
13. Former Fighting Illini head coach Lou Henson, who celebrated his 80th birthday on Tuesday, was honored during a halftime ceremony with a banner raised to the rafters. Henson, along with UI standout coaches Harry Combes, Doug Mills and Ralph Jones, will be permanently recognized at the Assembly Hall through the creation of the Honored Coaches program.