Ohio State Close But Unable to Pull Even, Illinois 68-70
Ohio State had near 6 opportunities to pull even with Illinois in Columbus, Ohio today after falling behind early and each time they got within 2 points, the Fighting Illini would increase the gap. Evan Turner played well down the stretch with Jon Diebler getting a good start following his inspired play against Northwestern on Wednesday. But the Buckeyes could not get ahead as they fought to the end and took one last shot with 0.6 seconds remaining.
By Steve Patterson
Turner and Diebler Play Well
Both Jon Diebler and Evan Turner finished the game with 17 points, with Turner scoring 15 of his points in the second half. Turner filled the stat sheet with 9 rebounds and 5 assists in another solid performance. In Ohio State's last game against the Illini, he only scored 4 points so the late surge was a good sign for the sophomore forward. Diebler scored early keeping the Buckeyes in the game in the first half. He finished with 4 three point shots while getting into the lane late and scoring from the foul line.
Buford has a Quiet 14 Points
William Buford showed his smooth mid range shot and made a number of key three point shots to answer the impressive 50% of Illinois from three points and beyond. Buford also pulled in 5 rebounds while playing almost the entire game. Diebler was the only player to play the entire game with Turner get occasional coaching breaks in the first half to limit his turnovers.
PJ Hill Turns It Up
PJ Hill had a very impressive game for Ohio State as he showed skill on the offensive end of the floor in addition to his consistent defensive play. Hill played 26 minutes with Jeremy Simmons on the bench in foul trouble at times. Hill was able to make 4-5 shots and score 9 points. He made some key plays in the game, stealing the ball on inbound paces and rebounding in the lane for a quick lay-ups. Hill will continue to see more minutes if he outplays Simmons at the point guard position.