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No. 13 Illinois rallies to beat Ohio State 77-74 in Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals

Illinois forward Quincy Guerrier (13) celebrates during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Conference tournament, Friday, March 15, 2024, in Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS — Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 28 points to help No. 13 Illinois overcome a 10-point second-half deficit and beat Ohio State 77-74 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night.

The game was tied at 71 when Jamison Battle sank a 3-pointer to put Ohio State on top with 1:44 to play. But Shannon and Coleman Hawkins each hit a pair of free throws to put Illinois up 75-74 entering the final minute.

Shannon made two more free throws with 11.3 second left to go up 77-74. Battle had a chance to tie the game on a 3-pointer when Illinois (24-8) neglected to foul and prevent a shot, but the ball bounced off the rim.
Battle led Ohio State (20-13) with 21 points. Bruce Thornton had 20 points and 10 assists.
Dain Dainja had 18 points and eight rebounds and Ty Rodgers had 12 points and 10 boards for Illinois.

The second-seeded Illini will play the winner of Indiana and Nebraska in Saturday’s semifinal round.

Ohio State held a lead for much of the second half, stretching its cushion to 10 points with 11 minutes to go. It wasn’t until the made free throws by Shannon and Hawkins with just over a minute remaining that Illinois took back the lead.

The Illini scrambled back to within three points on a Shannon 3-pointer with about nine minutes to go, but

Shannon picked up his fourth foul on the next trip down the court, sending him to the bench.

Dainja held it down for the Illini, taking over in the post and converting a three-point play with 7:46 remaining.
Shannon checked back in with 6:27 to go and hit three of four free throws, while Battle scored eight straight to help the Buckeyes hold their slim lead.

Dainja missed another chance at a three-point play, but later hit the front end of a one-and-one to tie the score at 71.

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Illinois will get the winner of Friday’s late quarterfinal. The Illini beat the Hoosiers 70-62 in January and the Cornhuskers 87-84 in February.

Ohio State had won seven of its previous nine games in a late-season push to make the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes will have to wait until teams are selected Sunday to see if that was enough to get in.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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