10:00 p.m. Update: Despite a hard-fought effort, Illinois falls to #1 Ohio State, 73-68.
Down 71-68 with less than 10 seconds to go, Illinois had a chance to tie the game, but a questionable pass from Demetri McCamey to Mike Tisdale was stolen.
That turnover concluded what was easily McCamey’s worst game of the season. The senior point guard finished with just 5 points (2-11 from the field) and 5 assists (versus 4 turnovers).
Illini sophomore guard D.J. Richardson continued his recent struggles, finishing with just 3 points on 1-for-6 shooting.
Illinois was led by freshman Jereme Richmond (18 points) and Tisdale (15 points), who kept the Illini alive with a big three with less than a minute to go.
Mike Davis added 11 points and 7 boards for the Illini, which led 50-41 on a Davis layup (plus a foul) with roughly 12:30 remaining in the second half but shortly went into a customary scoring drought.
Ohio State quickly rallied with game-changing threes from Illini killer Jon Diebler (15 points) and Buckeyes freshman Deshaun Thomas (8 points), thus putting Illinois in an up-hill battle for the rest of the contest.
As expected, Illinois couldn’t handle Ohio State’s fabulous freshman big man Jared Sullinger, who went for 27 points and 16 rebounds. Sullinger was 13-for-15 from the foul line.
All in all, Illinois came out with great intensity, especially on the defensive end, and got a huge spark from Richmond off the bench for the second straight game, but couldn’t close out or make plays when it mattered, a problem for this team all season long.
Illinois shot 43% overall from the field, but struggled from three, shooting 23.5% (4-17).
While Illinois had a legitimate shot to knock off the top-ranked Buckeyes, once again the team is left to wonder what could have been.
Writing Illini will get some post-game observations up on the site in the next day or so.
Due to prior obligations, and with Nick Houska in attendance at the Assembly Hall, Writing Illini will not do a live blog of this morning/early afternoon’s men’s basketball game between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the undefeated/top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
We will break down the final box score at some point today and come back tomorrow with our game observations.
Until then, let’s hope the Illini can avenge when the Buckeyes knocked us off six years ago in Columbus when we were #1, as relived in the following video.
It still hurts to watch that one.
Topics: Assembly Hall, Basketball, Bill Cole, Brandon Paul, Bruce Weber, Crandall Head, D.J. Richardson, Demetri McCamey, Illini, Illini Basketball, Illinois, Illinois Basketball, Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball, Jereme Richmond, Jerrance Howard, Joseph Bertrand, Meyers Leonard, Mike Davis, Mike Tisdale, Tyler Griffey, U-of-I Basketball, University Of Illinois, Writing Illini