No. 18 Illinois (22-6, 10-5 Big Ten) 70, Ohio State (17-8, 7-7 Big Ten) 68
Feb. 22, 2009
Value City Arena
Attendance: 19,049 (Sellout)

Postgame Notes

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the play of Ohio State
“We weren’t good enough to get the job done today. They made some great plays and ran the shot clock down all afternoon. We just couldn’t make the plays to get the lead. We were playing catch-up the whole game.”

On the play of Ohio State’s defense
“The teams we face are playing really well right now. We’re reacting to everything and not attacking.”

On game against Penn State Tuesday
“They’re all a must win now that we’re in February. It’s a unique situation for us though because we just finished a game and the team that we’re going to face hasn’t played in over six days.”

On the lack of rebounds
“We’re not going after it the way we want to. They have to do a better job of wanting it in the air. You have to come out and be hungry for the ball.”

Evan Turner, sophomore guard
On the Illinois defense
“Every time I touched the ball early, they would bring about three guys over to help which made it harder to penetrate into the lane. I got some looks late in the game because they had to spread the floor and respect the three-point shooters.”

On the shot-making ability of the Fighting Illini
“It seemed like every time we came up with a big score to cut the lead down they would come right back down and answer. They hit some shots that we defended well and managed to put back a lot of missed shots. You have to give them credit for stepping up and making the shots needed to win.”

Jon Diebler, sophomore guard
On preparing for the rest of the Big Ten schedule
“We have to come back in and be ready for a good Penn State team Tuesday. We approached today like a must-win, but it didn’t go the way we wanted. Now we have to take the same mentality going forward and execute. We need to correct the defensive lapses and be ready to play.”

On missed opportunities
“It’s going to be frustrating when we look at the film and see how many missed opportunities we had tonight. We can say “what-if” as many times as what we want but the fact is Illinois made the shots they needed to win the game.”

Bruce Weber, Illinois head coach
On the difference between the game today and the game against Penn State
“We couldn’t make a shot Wednesday and today we started 8-of-9, so that gave us some positive momentum right away. The big thing is that we were  knocked down on Wednesday and we got back up. You have to do that to be successful.”

On Illinois’ ball movement
“If you’ve followed us all year, that’s what we are deliberate and patient on offense. We knew that they (Ohio State) would lose us if we kept moving the ball around the perimeter.”

On the key to the game
“Our guys were patient and took good shots. That was the key.”

On Chester Frasier’s 3-point shots
“It was good for him to make them. I was happy for him. When he sets his feet, we feel confident that he can make the shot.”