COLUMBUS, Ohio — Marcus Domask and Terrence Shannon Jr. each had 23 points and Ty Rodgers had 13 as No. 14 Illinois beat Ohio State 87-75 on Tuesday night.
Illinois (16-5, 7-3 Big Ten) held a 41-34 lead at the break after hitting 7 of 10 in the final 6:32 of the first half. Ohio State went scoreless in the final 2:16 of that span.
The Fighting Illini stretched their lead to 16 points in the second half. Dain Dainja contributed seven points and five rebounds on 3-of-5 shooting.
“Road wins are really hard to get and I’m excited about this one,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “Dain hasn’t gotten a ton of minutes with the way we’ve been playing, and for him to answer the call and be ready speaks volumes to who he is as a person and what a great teammate he is. Couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Rodgers posted the second double-double of his career adding 10 rebounds.
“I feel like it’s been a lot easier and more comfortable for me just being able to rep it out in practice,” Rodgers said. “Really just having confidence and still being aggressive and having my same ability to do what I do.”
It was Shannon’s fourth game back after sitting out six games because of a university-imposed suspension.
Shannon is facing a rape charge in Kansas, but he was granted a preliminary injunction by a federal judge on Jan. 19 that forced Illinois to reinstate him to the team.
Ohio State (13-8, 3-7) got within 10 points after Jamison Battle made a 3 with 1:54 remaining. The Buckeyes shot 6 of 10 in the final five minutes and went 50% on the night.
Battle scored 21 points and Roddy Gayle Jr. had 20 for the Buckeyes.
“I thought we had some good stretches, played better than the other night,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “But obviously not good enough, so give Illinois credit.”
The Buckeyes have lost three in a row for the second time this season.
“We need to be nastier,” Holtmann said. “We need to be much nastier. We need to play with more force.”
Illinois: The Fighting Illini earned their fourth win in five games and second in a row. They’ve averaged 84.4 points per game during the stretch.
“We’re a little bit unorthodox,” Underwood said. “I get it, you know, our little ‘booty ball’ as you call it, as we call it, to get different post-ups and matchups. A lot of that starts with Marcus and Ty but the one thing I was very happy with today is we took 3s.”
Ohio State: The Buckeyes’ losing streak extends to three games, tying their season-long, and they’ve lost six of their past seven.
Illinois: Hosts Nebraska on Sunday.
Ohio State: Travels to Iowa on Friday.