MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

No. 17 Ohio State holds off pesky Illinois to win 75-67

Illinois' Leron Black, center, tries to keep the ball away from Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate, left, and Musa Jallow during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 35 points and had 13 rebounds and No. 17 Ohio State held off Illinois 75-67 on Sunday.

The Buckeyes, playing without suspended guard Kam Williams, overcame an Illinois lead to tie the score at the 5-minute mark. But they wouldn't get the game in hand until Kaleb Wesson grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up with 48 seconds left. That gave the Buckeyes a 72-67 lead, and any momentum Illinois had was gone for good.

Jae'Sean Tate scored 11 points for the Buckeyes (20-5, 11-1), who have won three straight and 10 of their last 11. They move on to a showdown with No. 3 Purdue on Wednesday to determine first place in the Big Ten.

Bates-Diop had 17 of his points in the first half — 11 straight in one stretch — when Ohio State had to dig its way out of a 15-point hole. He finished with his 10th double-double of the season.

Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann, in his first year at Ohio State after a successful run at Butler, now has won 20 or more games in each of his last five full years as a head coach.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Illinois (12-12, 2-9). The Illini have yet to win a game on the road this season.

Mark Alstork paced Illinois with 19 points, and Trent Frazier chipped in 12.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: The Illini fought gallantly but didn't have enough to beat the more talented Buckeyes.

Ohio State: The Big Ten bottom feeder gave the Buckeyes a scare. Did they miss Williams, whose suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules was announced hours before the game? Were they looking ahead to Purdue?

UP NEXT

Illinois: Hosts Wisconsin on Thursday.

Ohio State: Visits No. 3 Purdue on Wednesday.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending