Jan. 01, 2017
CHAMAPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Malcolm Hill scored 20 points to help Illinois escape with a 75-70 win over Ohio State on Sunday night.
Tracy Abrams added 16 points and Leron Black grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds for Illinois.
Hill drove to his left for a layup to give the Illini a 71-67 lead with 55-seconds left. Jalen Coleman-Lands and Abrams each made two free throws from there to seal it.
Illinois (11-4, 1-1 Big Ten) looked like a different team against the Buckeyes, making stops and going on runs to help its lead. The Illini built a lead that reached as much as 15 points in the latter part of the first half after the Buckeyes went through a couple of scoring droughts.
The Illinois bench outscored Ohio State’s 25-9, led by big men Michael Finke and Maverick Morgan with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
JaQuan Lyle led Ohio State (10-4, 0-1 Big Ten) with 26 points.
Ohio State couldn’t rebound from scoring droughts in both halves despite a hot start to the second in which it took the lead in the final five minutes of the game.
Illinois will almost have an entire week to prepare for a battle against rival Indiana in Bloomington on Saturday.
Ohio State will have a few days off before hosting Purdue on Thursday.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org