Ohio College Basketball Roundup

No. 11 Illinois 74, No. 8 Ohio State 55

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Brandon Paul scored 19 points and No. 11 Illinois bounced back from a tough loss in its Big Ten opener to beat No. 8 Ohio State 74-55 on Saturday.

The Illini (14-2, 1-1 Big Ten) led 37-25 at halftime and used a 13-2 run early in the second half to build a 50-27 lead.

Illinois used stingy defense to shut down the Buckeyes (11-3, 1-1), who shot just 33 percent from the field and turned the ball over 16 times.

Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State with 24 points, but beyond him the Buckeyes had no one to turn to for offense. Aaron Craft had a quiet 11 points and Lenzelle Smith Jr. finished with eight, all in the first half.

And while the Buckeyes searched for offense, the Illini got double-figure production from four players.

Sophomore center Nnanna Egwu had 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Illini point guard Tracy Abrams added 13 points and five assists, while reserve Joseph Bertrand scored 12 points.

Illinois came into the game off a stunning 68-61 loss at Purdue in its Big Ten opener, and had lost two of its last three over a stretch in which the team struggled to get stops.

But on Saturday, Illinois became the first team to hold the Buckeyes under 30 points in the first half this season, taking a 37-25 lead.

The efforts of Illini big men Egwu, Sam McLaurin and Tyler Griffey were a big part of that success. Ohio State had just 10 points in the paint in the first half.

Illinois added to its edge early in the second half with a 13-2 run. Bertrand finished it, driving to the basket and hitting a short jumper as the shot clock wound down for a 50-27 lead with 15:05 to play.

The Buckeyes scratched their way back within 60-46 with 6:37 left on a jumper by Thomas. It capped a 15-4 run that melted what had been a 25-point deficit at 56-31 and put the sellout crowd – still uneasy about just how good Illinois might be – on edge.

But Richardson answered Thomas’ shot with a 3-pointer with 6:13 to play. That put the Illini up 63-46 and let the crowd roar with relief.

Ohio 94, Marshall 57

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) – Nick Kellogg snapped a two-game scoreless streak with 22 points and D.J. Cooper dished out a career-high and Ohio school-record 17 assists in the Bobcats’ 94-57 win over Marshall in the 100th meeting between the programs.

Reggie Keely made 8 of 9 shots en route to 18 points, Walter Offutt had 13, Ivo Baltic chipped in 12 and Cooper, who also had 12 points, posted four of the Bobcats’ 14 steals. Kellogg, who was 0-for-12 in Ohio’s two previous games, was 6-for-11 and made five 3-pointers.

Ohio (9-5) opened the game on a 17-4 run, capped by six straight points from Baltic. Marshall (7-8) cut the deficit to 20-10, but Ohio used another run, this time 12-2, to go ahead for good 34-12. Cooper, who is averaging 12 assists over Ohio’s last four games, assisted on all six baskets during the spurt.

D.D. Scarver led Marshall with 13 points.

Youngstown 68, Loyola Chicago 66

CHICAGO (AP) – Kendrick Perry hit a jump shot with 5 seconds left in the game to give Youngstown State a 68-66 victory over Loyola Chicago on Saturday.

Youngstown State (9-6, 1-1 Horizon) trailed 50-36 with 14:10 left in the game before beginning its rally.

Youngstown State finally took the lead 66-65 on a basket by D.J. Cole with 58 seconds remaining. Loyola Chicago’s Ben Averkamp tied it with a free throw with 40 seconds left, setting up the late sequence for Youngstown State.

Damian Eargle scored 20 points and blocked six shots for Youngstown State. Perry scored 18 points and Kamrin Belin scored 13, including three 3-pointers.

Averkamp led Loyola Chicago (10-4, 1-1) with 18 points. Christian Thomas and Cully Payne scored 11 points each, and Devon Turk added 10.


Ohio 68, Xavier 62

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Ohio women’s basketball rang in the New Year Saturday afternoon, picking up a hard-fought 68-62 victory at Xavier.

Three Bobcats scored in double figures as the Green and White committed just seven turnovers while dishing out 13 assists in the victory.

Freshman guard Kiyanna Black scored a career and game-high 23 points in the win. She was one of three Ohio players who scored in double figures, joining Erin Bailes (20 points) and Lexie Baldwin (10). Baldwin just missed out on her second straight double-double, collecting a team-high eight rebounds.

Ohio (5-7) shot its third-best percentage of the season, connecting on 26 of 60 field-goal attempts to end the game at 43.3 percent. The Bobcats held Xavier to just 22-62 (35.5 percent) from the field.

The victory was Ohio’s fifth straight in the series over Xavier (6-8), with the Bobcats holding a 5-1 advantage in the program’s six all-time meetings.

Ohio got off to a fast start, sprinting out to an early 8-0 lead before Xavier was forced to call a timeout just 2:06 into the contest.