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Jan. 6, 2001

Box Score| Notes

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Frank Williams scored 21 points as Illinois broke out of its lingering shooting slump to beat Ohio State 83-68 on Saturday night.

Williams scored 16 points in the second half, taking control of the Illini offense after Ohio State tied it at 37 with 15:44 remaining.

Illinois (12-3, 2-0 Big Ten) also got 13 points from forward Brian Cook, including a pair of key 3-pointers in the second half, and 12 from Cory Bradford.

The Illini, who came in shooting 44 percent and ranked last in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting, made 55 percent of their shots and were 9-of-19 from 3-point range.

Ken Johnson and Brian Brown each scored 15 points to lead Ohio State (10-4, 1-1). Brent Darby added 14 for the Buckeyes, who shot just 35 percent for the game.

The 6-foot-11 Johnson never gave Illinois’ favorite target, center Marcus Griffin, a clear look at the basket. But Griffin scored 10 points in the first half on free throws and putbacks.

The Illini double- and triple-teamed Johnson, holding him to just one point in the first half.

Illinois scored eight straight points for a 21-13 lead with 10:30 remaining in the first period. The Buckeyes kept it close, but Williams hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Illini a 32-25 halftime lead.

Ohio State opened the second half on a 12-5 run. Sean Connolly tied the game at 37 on a 3-pointer from the corner with 15:44 left.

The 6-foot-10 Cook, repeatedly left alone on the perimeter, twice hit 3-pointers as Illinois slowly rebuilt its lead. Cook’s second 3-pointer gave the Illini a 55-46 lead with 10 minutes left.

Another forward, Damir Krupalija, followed by drawing a charge and then surprising the Buckeyes’ defense his own 3-pointer to make it 58-46 with 9:47 to go.

Ohio State never got closer than eight points again. Sean Harrington made a 3-pointer with 3:14 to go that put Illinois ahead 72-57. Brown hit a short jumper for Ohio State but Williams hit another 3-pointer to make it 75-59 with 2:04 remaining.

Bradford, who finished with 12 points, has made a 3-pointer in 79 straight games, extending an NCAA record he broke earlier this season.