Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Brandon Paul had 19 points and seven
rebounds, leading 11th-ranked Illinois in a 74-55 romp of No. 8 Ohio State at
Nnanna Egwu totaled a career-high 16 points and eight boards for the Fighting
Illini (14-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who rebounded from Wednesday's conference-opening
loss at Purdue with a dominating performance. Tracy Abrams filled the stat
sheet with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
"I thought our toughness and togetherness was exceptional," Illinois coach
John Groce said.
Deshaun Thomas scored 24 points for Ohio State (11-3, 1-1), which was limited
to 33.3 percent shooting.
Illinois scored the game's first five points and never looked back.
The Fighting Illini went up 21-11 on a Paul dunk and Egwu hit a jumper to make
it 37-21 with 2:20 left in the first half. They settled for a 37-25 edge at
the half after shooting 50 percent (17-of-34).
Illinois started the second half on an 13-2 burst, with a Joseph Bertrand
basket extending the lead to 50-27. Abrams drained a 3-pointer to give the
Fighting Illini their largest lead at 56-31 with 10:43 remaining.
The Buckeyes closed to within 14 before Illinois countered with a 7-0 run.
Paul has scored in double figures in all 16 games this season, the longest
streak of his career ... Illinois is 6-5 when both teams are ranked ... Thad
Matta coached in his 300th career game with Ohio State ...Bertrand had 12
points and three blocks ... Aaron Craft supplied 11 points for the Buckeyes.
The Sports Network