Illinois Basketball: 5 takeaways from the Illini loss to Ohio State


No. 17 Ohio State survived a serious scare from IL on Sunday, winning 75-67 behind Keita Bates-Diop's monster performance.

You'll see that IL did not score a single point in the final 10:11 of the first half and extended that scoring drought another 1:20 of the second half.

The Spartans (9-17-1, 3-13-1-1) kept the play in the OSU zone for stretches of the second and got rewarded with 8:21 to play in the period as Lambdin made it a 2-1 game. That's hard to do.

The dual began at 125 where senior Carson Kuhn (Sandy, Utah) made his Penn State debut against No. 4 Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State.

The top-ranked University of Wisconsin women's hockey team knew it would be a challenge facing No. 6 Ohio State on the Buckeyes' smaller home ice. That gave the Buckeyes a 72-67 lead, and any momentum IL had was gone for good.

At that point, the strategy for the Illini is simple.

"Look at their last game and see that they were up 40 on Rutgers to see how good they could be", Holtmann said. Saturday's game starts at 4:05 p.m. and is untelevised.

The Illini might be in first place in the "Close But No Cigar" league. "It was frustrating because it's something that we've got to continue to grow from", Underwood said.

"It (stinks) it's a smaller venue and we won't have the fan support", said Martin. We can beat anybody. The pivotal points came late in the second period when McKenna scored a takedown at the final buzzer to tie the match at 4-4.

IL forced 10 turnovers in the first half.

Matt Patricia trims his infamous beard for Lions introduction
From how to teach and coach, and the fundamental beliefs that we had in New England, which I think are strong". Quinn fired coach Jim Caldwell last month with a 36-28 mark over four years and two playoff appearances.

In the last game standing between them and their big matchup with No. 3 Purdue, Ohio State will take on IL this Sunday in Columbus. Mark Alstork, whose offense has largely been missing all season, was suddenly a factor in the scoring column. He scored 17 of his career-high 35 points in the first half. The Illini were held without a point for the rest of the first half and gave up a 19-0 run to the Buckeyes to close out the first 20 minutes. "We do everything right". "They're just built and put together that well, and they play that well together. And what happened is we make a few threes, and then we fall in love with it". "We don't drive it".

IL has had a rough go of it this season, featuring a 12-11 record while going just 2-8 in their Big Ten schedule.

While Penn State arguably has more overall star power - even without Nolf - Ohio State is clearly more balanced with a ranked wrestler at every weight.

"His opponent's really tough, he's one of those guys you like watching from another team because they compete hard and score a lot of points".

At 133, Corey Keener dropped a narrow 5-4 decision to No. 2 Luke Pletcher in another strong effort to limit the Buckeyes' team points in the early going.

The dual, touted on social media as the "Super Bowl" of college wrestling, drummed up hype across the country, spiking ticket sales into the hundreds and leading Ohio State's coach Tom Ryan to call for the match to be relocated to the Bryce Jordan Center to accommodate a larger crowd.

Underwood and his staff are scouring the country for a big man who can help IL on the glass.

That being said, Holtmann has more than earned all the plaudits that have come his way.

IL played four big men. The New Jersey native lifted the roof of yet another Rec Hall sellout by controlling the top-ranked Buckeye over the final two periods and rolling to a 6-3 victory. The Illini led by four with 6:07 to play.

"It's big", Bates-Diop said of the looming showdown.