11 minute scoring drought dooms Illini in loss to Ohio State

by Leon Thompson February 8, 2018, 6:12
11 minute scoring drought dooms Illini in loss to Ohio State

Keita Bates-Diop arguably has been the best player in the conference - IL coach Brad Underwood on Sunday called him the league MVP - and OSU ranks in the top 25 nationally in adjusted offense and adjusted defense rankings as a team. The Fighting Illini made 11 of their first 17 shots, which included four 3-pointers, and took a 30-15 lead with 10 minutes, 11 seconds to play in the first half. Alstork had a season high 19 points against Ohio State on Sunday. That's hard to do.

Ohio State went on an impressive run.

Ohio State's key players have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with, as a handful of Buckeyes approach some huge milestones. The tied the game up at 63 and then never looked back. Get a stop. Make a play.

One of Penn State's five NCAA champs - 157-pounder Jason Nolf - will miss the dual with a knee injury suffered in a match with Rutgers' John VanBrill on Sunday.

IL started the game off well on Sunday.

The Illini might be in first place in the "Close But No Cigar" league. "It was frustrating because it's something that we've got to continue to grow from", Underwood said. "Just under the circumstances, we're celebrating a regular decision (loss)", Sanderson said. We can beat anybody. Mark Alstork, whose offense has largely been missing all season, was suddenly a factor in the scoring column. This enabled them to get a lead 30-15 with 10:11 left in the first half.

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Lopez had to be held back by teammates after being called for a second technical with 4:21 left in the second quarter. It was one of the few highlights for Chicago in the 104-98 setback Monday at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

"Really looking forward to it, I've said it before, in my mind I'm No. 1 so every guy I go against is faceless and formless in my mind, so whoever it is I'll go out there the same", said Cassar. "We do everything right". Then we fall in love with (shooting the 3). We forget where the paint is.

The Spartans bounced back though, scoring on the power play with 7:39 to go in the period. Even in the loss, Kuhn executed his objective of damage control, only allowing four team points. Cassar's triumph gave Penn State a 19-15 lead heading into the final bout of the evening.

Kipper Nichols and Leron Black both struggled against the Buckeyes.

"Yeah man, we've got to get this sport pumping and get it going with events like this", said OH state junior 184-pounder Myles Martin, who will compete in the marquee match of the dual against Bo Nickal. The help is badly needed, as Underwood confessed post-game. Despite some of the worst play by IL all season during that stretch, they still only trailed by four at the half. The New Jersey native lifted the roof of yet another Rec Hall sellout by controlling the top-ranked Buckeye over the final two periods and rolling to a 6-3 victory.

"It's big", Bates-Diop said of the looming showdown.

Trent Frazier scored in double figures for the 13th time in 14 games, but he made just five of his 15 shot attempts.

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