FightingIllini.com

The Official Home of University of Illinois Athletics

    Men's Basketball

    Illini Edged by Buckeyes, 62-55
    Joseph Bertrand had a game-high 19 points against Ohio State.

    Joseph Bertrand had a game-high 19 points against Ohio State.

    Jan. 23, 2014

    Highlights | Box Score | Photos

    1st2ndF
    Illinois 25 30 55
    Ohio State 24 38 62
    Illini Top Performers
    Joseph Bertrand 19 pts, 3 rebs
    Jon Ekey 11 pts, 5 rebs
    Nnanna Egwu 10 pts, 9 rebs, 1 assist
    Game Stats
    OSU Illinois
    FG Percentage 42% 41%
    3-point Percentage 42% 28%
    FT Percentage 74% 67%
    Def. Rebounds 21 21
    Off. Rebounds 10 11
    Assists 11 10
    Steals 10 5
    Turnovers 12 15
    Blocks 3 4
    Next Game
    Illinois at Indiana
    Sunday, Jan. 26    2 pm CT    BTN
    Buy Tickets | #Illini
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Joseph Bertrand led all scorers with 19 points and Nnanna Egwu added 10 points and nine rebounds, but Illinois fell in the waning moments to No. 17 Ohio State, 62-55 on Thursday night.

    LaQuinton Ross scored 18 points to lead the Buckeyes.

    Aaron Craft added 11 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Buckeyes (16-4, 3-4 Big Ten), who had lost four in a row for the first time since 2007-08.

    Jon Ekey had 11 points for the Illini (13-7, 2-5), who lost their fifth straight and play three of their next four games against ranked opponents.

    Trailing by as many as four points and down 34-31 just over 5 minutes into a defense-dominated second half, the Buckeyes suddenly found the range.

    Illinois left Ross -- one of the Buckeyes' few offensive threats -- all alone under the basket for an easy bucket.

    Craft then stole the ball and drove the distance for the layup and a 35-34 lead.

    The Illini turned the ball over on their next two possessions, as well. Smith, who had 35 points total during the losing skid, then drove the right baseline for a bucket off an assist from Craft.

    After an Illinois miss, Craft handed the ball to Sam Thompson who hit a 3 from the right elbow to push the lead to 40-34.

    Still, the Illini didn't fold. They pulled to 41-40 on 3s by Ekey and Bertrand and pulled even at 46 on Tracy Abrams' slash through the lane. He missed the cap on a possible three-point play, however, and at the end Shannon Scott fed Ross for a 3 from the left wing.

    The teams traded missed chances until Smith stepped in front of a bad pass by Abrams and fed Scott for a left-handed layup with 3:50 remaining for a 51-46 advantage.

    With the Buckeyes up 52-50, Ross drove the lane against the Illinois zone and was fouled, banking in a shot and adding the accompanying free throw with 2:07 left.

    The Illini then turned it over on an offensive foul by Rice before Smith poured in a 3 from in front of the Ohio State bench for a 58-50 lead with 75 seconds remaining.

    Illinois never threatened again.

    Neither team gained much traction in the opening half, with Illinois up 25-24 at the break.

    The Buckeyes scored the first five points but the Illini -- who scored on four of their final five possessions including the last three -- finally found some tempo in the closing moments.

    Bertrand, averaging 10.6 points a game, had 10 in the first 20 minutes. Ohio State, true to its recent form, struggled on offense. The Buckeyes hit just 7 of 24 shots from the field (29 percent), actually hitting a higher percentage outside the arc (3 of 10) than they did inside it (4 of 14 for 29 percent).

    With the Buckeyes up 21-18 after Aaron Craft's two free throws with 2:29 left, Bertrand hit a falling-down 3 from the top of the key as the shot clock was expiring. Jaylon Tate then flipped backdoor assist passes to Ekey and Nnanna Egwu for easy baskets.

    Smith hit two 3-pointers for six points and Williams had five points and six rebounds at intermission.

    Illinois Athletics

    Top Videos

    See more videos

    Twitter

    Follow Us On Twitter

    Contact

    University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

    Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building
    1700 S. Fourth Street, Champaign, IL 61820
    217-333-3630 | E-Mail Us