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No. 2/3 Ohio State 89 (26-2, 13-2), Illinois 70 (17-11, 7-8)                                                     
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
February 22, 2011
Attendance: 18,085
POSTGAME QUOTES

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the impact of David Lighty on the team
“His second half performance tonight was at a high level. I don’t think he’s gotten half the credit he deserves.”

On the game plan going into tonight’s game
“We talked about getting the quick turnaround. I said we couldn’t be tired because we had a great challenge tonight. We knew Illinois was going to come in and give us a good game. During timeouts I emphasized keeping the intensity up.”

On the effect of the loss at Purdue effecting tonight’s game
“Its college basketball; we’ve got to continue to press on. It’s such a long season that if you dwell on one game in this league you’ll tank. I give them credit for bouncing back because tonight was a big game for us.”

On beating Illinois twice in one season
“I think Illinois is a tremendous basketball team. They’ve got a great mix of seniors and they always make me nervous watching them on film so tonight’s victory was good for the team.”

Jon Diebler, senior guard
On driving the ball more
“How teams are starting to guard me, it leaves a lot of open room for me to drive and when I do that it opens up shots for the other guys.”

On losing two of the last three games
“The most important thing is that we protect home court. Losing two games isn’t the end of the world. But in order to win the Big Ten you have to take care of your home court.”

Jared Sullinger, freshman forward
On the team’s defense
“Defensively we played ok, but we can play a lot better than that.”

On his quiet first half
“It’s been like that since the beginning of the year, it’s not just a one man team. We have a lot of guys on this team who can score.”

David Lighty, senior guard
On his six steals
“I was just trying to be aggressive and keep my hands in the lanes and play good defense.”

On his big second half
“I had some good looks in the first half, but they weren’t going in so I just stayed aggressive and they went down in the second. I think they went to a triangle and two style defense to chase Jon [Diebler] around, and just started leaving me and [Aaron ]Craft open.”

Bruce Webber, Illinois head coach
On being down after first half
“It wasn’t perplexing because we turned it over. I think it was 16 – 0 on points off of turnovers, you can’t give them easily layups, also (William) Buford got off to a good start. We talked all day about being patient not taking quick shots and not turning it over. Then we took three quick shots and turned it over. We wanted to catch them off guard but they played at a very high level. Their perimeter guys play a lot better at home.”

On being physical on the road
“I’ll be honest I thought we were more physical there (at home) and I thought we didn’t get through screens and they got a lot of open shots. I thought we competed and we played hard, but they just have too many weapons.”

On David Lighty, Ohio State gaurd
“I think he’s the MVP, but probably won’t get it. He’s their heart and soul. Nothing against Jared Sullinger, he’s tremendous but Lighty is their heart and soul and he’s the reason they win.”

On the season so far
“If you have a David Lighty, a heart and soul that comes everyday that does what you need, we don’t have that toughness and leadership. We need to keep fighting and have another tough game against Iowa.”