In a close game that went back-and-forth in the second half, No. 23 Ohio State (11-3 4-0) went on the final scoring run to put visiting Illinois (9-6, 3-2) away, 70-67, in Columbus, Ohio on Friday.
Illinois had the ball with less than a minute left and trailing by only two points, but the Buckeyes forced a shot-clock violation to get the ball back. After hitting 1-2 free throws, UI missed its final shot to fall to 1-5 on the road this season.
The Illini stayed close thanks to stellar free throw shooting in the game (13-14), including a perfect 10-10 in the second half. Meanwhile, Ohio State hit only 13-22 from the line to keep the game close.
Illinois was led by its dominant frontcourt, as Susan Blauser tallied a game-high 18 points. Tauja Catchings earned her second-straight double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Alicia Sheeler added 16 points.
Ohio State was sparked by the duo of Lauren Shenk, who hit 5-7 from three-point range, and Marrita Porter with 17 points a piece.
The Illini will continue their trip, looking for their first road win since the season opener at Stanford, as they travel to Northwestern for a 2 p.m. tipoff on Sunday, Jan. 10.