LIVE! Ohio State

LIVE! Ohio State

CHICAGO — Illinois was whistled for 16 second half fouls as part of 49 total called for the game in what turned into a 77-67 Ohio State win at the United Center. The Buckeyes outscored the Illini 43-29 in the final 20 minutes, including 16 of 20 free throw shooting.

Trent Frazier and Kipper Nichols led Illinois with 18 points apiece. Ohio State's Keyshawn Woods also had 18 points, while Kaleb Wesson added 13 and Musa Jallow 11 for the Buckeyes. 

Illinois (2-7, 0-2 Big Ten) will return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday against UNLV at State Farm Center.

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Ohio State 59, Illinois 53 — 10:36 left in 2nd half

Ohio State has made five of its last seven shots. Illinois, conversely, has made just one of its last seven. When one team shoots 64.3 percent to start a half (the Buckeyes) and the other shoots 29.4 percent (the Illini), that's how the scoreboard flips like it has. Oh, and Ohio State was in the bonus for the first time 3 minutes ago. The Buckeyes are going to shoot a lot of free throws the rest of this game. 

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Illinois 46, Ohio State 45 — 15:22 left in 2nd half

Illinois and Ohio State have been whistled for a combined 10 fouls (six on the Illini) in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half. This game is going to be decided at the free throw line. That's where Illinois has the advantage — at least tonight. The Illini are 19 of 23 (82.6 percent) at the line so far. Ohio State? Just 7 of 15 (46.7 percent).

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Illinois 38, Ohio State 34 — Halftime

Illinois state played easily its best stretch of defense this season to close out the first half (where Ohio State made just one of its final eight shots). The Buckeyes simply couldn't handle the Illini's defensive pressure with some late turnovers turning into easy buckets at the other end for Brad Underwood's squad.

Turns out you really can turn defense into offense.

Trent Frazier leads Illinois with 11 points, but it was a fairly balanced first half. Kipper Nichols, Da'Monte Williams and Aaron Jordan all have five points apiece.

To the Twitter machine! (Where things actually aren't all doom and gloom)

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Illinois 30, Ohio State 30 — 3:06 left in 1st half

It's tied. Here's why. Ohio State hasn't scored in the last 4 minutes, 42 seconds and has five turnovers in that span. Pretty simple, really.

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Ohio State 30, Illinois 22 — 6:34 left in 1st half

Trent Frazier took just two shots in the first half of Sunday's game at Nebraska. Illinois coach Brad Underwood said after the loss to the Cornhuskers that the 6-foot-1 sophomore guard needed to be a bigger part of the Illini offense. He reiterated that point yesterday.

It's a message that was also shared with Frazier. Turns out he was listening. Frazier has shown some the type of confidence/swagger tonight that he did last year (and hadn't always been on display so far this season). Frazier not only has a team-high nine points, but he's also tied with Giorgo Bezhanishvili for the team lead with four rebounds.

And with about 6 minutes left in the half, Frazier is on the Illinois bench after picking up his second foul. It was, in a word, bogus. Frazier was whistled for a charge on a play that happened directly in front of me and was, also in a word, a flop by Ohio State guard Duane Washington Jr. 

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Ohio State 8, Illinois 6 — 15:48 left in 1st half

Not exactly the greatest start for either team. The ~5,000 people here have not been treated to terrific basketball. Ohio State is shooting 30 percent from the field, which is actually better than Illinois' 25 percent. The Illini also have three turnovers (leading to six points for the Buckeyes).

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Illinois vs. No. 19 Ohio State — 6 p.m., BTN

Kipper Nichols is back in the starting lineup for Illinois. That's notable ... but he did play well at Nebraska.

Ohio State is starting C.J. Jackson, Luther Muhammad (he's also back after an injury), Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kaleb Wesson.

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Illinois vs. No. 19 Ohio State — 6 p.m., BTN

Tweeted this out earlier, but freshman guard Tevian Jones is again not dressed for Illinois. It's the third straight game (see also at Notre Dame and at Nebraska) he's missed while suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. 

Anyway ... those conversations with his team Illinois coach Brad Underwood has had with his team about toughness? Well, they're sinking in.

"We’ve just got to get a little bit tougher," freshman guard Ayo Dosunmu said. "We’ve got to turn it up a notch. Big Ten play is a different animal than regular games. Teams are more physical. There’s more scouts out — more information out. We’ve got to get stronger, get bigger and get tougher."

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Illinois vs. No. 19 Ohio State — 6 p.m., BTN

Illinois coach Brad Underwood said he was as frustrated as he's been with the Illini offensively after their 15-point loss at Nebraska. He had some other toughts, too, about the unsuccessful road trip to Lincoln and tonight's game against Ohio State.

"Couple good days of practice after a performance we didn’t like very much," Underwood said. "Give Nebraska credit. Nebraska was the aggressor. We got down, and we never really looked anywhere in the game. We cut it to four or five, but it was still them controlling the game.

(Ohio State's) a team that everything starts at the point with C.J. Jackson and then (Kaleb) Wesson in the middle. They’re at team that’s very, very physical — probably as physical of a team as any we’ve seen to this point. They got a great road win at Creighton, which impressed the heck out of me. We’re going to have to be at our best offensively.

"We’ve been talking ad nauseam with our guys about toughness. We’re not tough enough. We’re not tough enough. It’s a toughness to be disciplined enough to execute. We didn’t do that at Nebraska. We’ve got to understand how to be tough to be disciplined enough when we need to get a basket that we can execute."

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Illinois vs. No. 19 Ohio State — 6 p.m., BTN

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Welcome to another LIVE! Report from the Windy City. The annual Chicago game remains a fixture on the Illinois basketball schedule. This year, though, Illinois paired its regular early Chicago game at the United Center with its first "home" game in the still-new early Big Ten action.

The idea is a higher profile game than some of the last (i.e. Illinois-Chicago or New Mexico State) will draw a bigger crowd. Enter Ohio State — the No. 19 team in the country. Based on a quick browse of Ticketmaster, however, the desired result (i.e. more fans) might not happen. Lots of available seats late this morning when I looked.

Ohio State, of course, is a higher profile opponent. High enough that the Buckeyes are ranked (thanks to some early true road wins at Cincinnati and Creighton). And Ohio State might be getting back freshman guard Luther Muhammad to round out its rotation. The obvious points of concern, of course, are point guard C.J. Jackson and big man Kaleb Wesson. The Buckeyes are a true inside-outside threat. 

Illinois wants to be more of that. Getting the ball to freshman forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili is a stated (a lot) goal. So is getting sophomore guard Trent Frazier more shots than the two he took in the first half at Nebraska.

We're about an hour from tip. That, of course, gives you time to catch up on some of our Illini basketball coverage in the last couple days ...

Illinois logging plenty of early season miles

Starters, stats, storylines and our beat writer's pick

"Inside Illini Basketball: Why Giorgi Bezhanishvili matters"

Illini still searching for consistency

 

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