January 30, 1999
CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – (Ticker) — Brian Brown, a 35 percent free throw shooter, sank a pair from the line with 5.1 seconds left to seal the victory as No. 17 Ohio State snapped an 11-game losing streak against Illinois, 64-61.
%^$Michael Redd snapped a 61-61 tie by making a free throw with 29 seconds left. Illinois had three chances to win in the final 15 seconds. With 13 seconds left, a pull-up jumper by Cory Bradford was off the mark but the rebound was knocked out of bounds by Ohio State’s Scoonie Penn.
%^$On the ensuing inbounds attempt, Victor Chukwudebe was short off a lob pass and Sergio McClain was dragged to the floor on a follow attempt. Brown grabbed the ball and raced into the frontcourt before being fouled.
%^$After making both attempts, Illinois got the ball into the frontcourt but Bradford was fouled before getting off his three-point attempt. He missed the first and intentionally missed the second but was unable to run down the loose rebound.
%^$Penn and Redd led Ohio State (16-6, 6-3 Big Ten) with 15 points apiece. Redd had 11 of his points in the second half for the Buckeyes, who trailed nearly the entire game.
%^$Bradford, a redshirt freshman had a season-high 29, including six three-pointers. But the Illini, coming off their first Big Ten win of the season at Michigan on Thursday, fell to 9-12 and 1-8 in the conference.
%^$Ohio State, which had not beaten Illinois since 1992, trails the all-time series 55-93.
%^$The Buckeyes led 5-4, 5:27 into the contest but Illinois used a 12-4 run to open a seven-point lead with just over nine minutes left in the first half. Ohio State got within 21-20 on two free throws by Penn with 4:23 to go but Chukwudebe had a follow shot and Bradford drained a three-pointer. McClain followed with a fast-break layup for a 28-20 advantage.
%^$A scoop shot by Penn with 10 seconds left in the half cut the deficit to 28-22. Illinois again led by eight, 41-33 with 12:20 left in the contest but Jason Singleton dunked to ignite a 7-0 run. The Illini did not fold and regained a 52-45 edge with 7:36 to go.
%^$Ohio State answered with a 9-2 burst that knotted the game, 54-54, with 3:54 left. Penn’s two free throws gave the Buckeyes their first lead since 5-4, but McClain hit two free throws to tie the game.
%^$Lucas Johnson’s two free throws with 44 seconds remaining pulled Illinois even at 61-61, but Redd was fouled 15 seconds later driving to the basket. Redd sank one of two to give Ohio State the 62-61 lead Brown extended with his clutch free throws.
%^$Illinois was 11-of-23 from the foul line and committed 18 turnovers.