Sophomore point guard Tracy Abrams got off to a hot start for the Fighting Illini scoring five of the Illini's first seven. He ended the game with 13 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Nnanna Egwu played one of his best games with 16 points and seven rebounds. Brandon Paul led the team with 19 points and he also grabbed seven rebounds.
Buckeyes forward Deshaun Thomas led all scorers with 24 points.
Illinois (14-2, 1-1 Big Ten) played strong defense and really controlled the pace of the game early. Abrams and Paul provided a huge spark as the team went on an 12-2 run early in the first half to put the Illini up by double digits. The Illini shot poorly from behind the three point line but took advantage of getting solid shots in transition.
Turnovers plagued Ohio State (11-3, 1-1 Big Ten) early in the game as they played very sloppy basketball and the Buckeyes allowed a lot of easy transition baskets. The Buckeyes picked up the intensity in the second half and started to gain a little momentum cutting into the Illini's 20 point lead. Aaron Craft played exceptional defense during the run.
However the Illini would pull away again when senior guard D.J. Richardson quelled the Buckeye run with a three pointer. The Illini held the Buckeyes to 33 percent shooting and out rebounded them 39-28.
The Big Ten looks to be the top conference in basketball at the moment and the Illini look to establish themselves in the mix.