UI grade vs. No. 17 Ohio State: C
Player of the game: Lenzelle Smith Jr., Ohio State
Zion-Benton product showed his homestate school what it was missing. After struggling on three-pointers in Big Ten games, the senior hit 4 of 8 from beyond the arc and finished with 16 points. He also had five rebounds and three steals to help the Buckeyes quiet the naysayers.
Illinois C-, Ohio State B
In the category “least favorite college game,” this will certainly be at the top for Rayvonte Rice. He missed all eight shots and didn’t score. And picked up four fouls. The Illini need to relocate the guy who was at the top of the Big Ten in scoring earlier this season. Pronto.
Illinois C+, Ohio State B+
Nnanna Egwu regained his shooting touch, so that’s a positive step. LaQuinton Ross led the Buckeyes with 18 and helped the offense escape an early funk.
Illinois D, Ohio State D
Good thing the starters were scoring because the subs barely touched the stat sheet for either team. Maybe the problem is the shooting background. Or the rims. Or the court. There was no bump from the backups.
Illinois C, Ohio State B
Joseph Bertrand played one of his better games of the season (game-high 19 points), but he didn’t get enough help and the Illini lost their fifth in a row. At least John Groce didn’t pick up another T. But panic among the masses has officially set in.