Thursday’s contest saw two streaking teams; unfortunately for their fans, streaking in the wrong direction. Despite their streak, the Buckeyes entered the game as 11 point favorites, so at least on the surface it was the “get well” game that Ohio State needed. And indeed it was, with Ohio State surviving 1st half shooting woes (29%) to emerge with a much needed 62-55 win.
The Buckeyes were led by LaQuinton Ross (18 pts), Lenzelle Smith Jr (16 pts) and Aaron Craft (11 pts). Craft also filled the stat sheet with 5 assists and 6 rebounds. In addition to improved shooting in the 2nd half 54% (13-24), OSU also improved its ball handling, committing only 5 turnovers, compared to 7 in the 1st half. There were still a few wrinkles to work out, but this was a much better performance at both ends of the court, particularly in the 2nd half. Hopefully, this may be the springboard to boost the Buckeyes’ confidence and get them back on track
The Fighting Illini were led by Joseph Bertrand (19 pts), Nnanna Egwu (10 pts) and Jon Ekay (11 pts). Egwu nearly scored a double-double as he pulled down 9 rebounds.