Illinois stuns Minnesota at the buzzer
Also, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart explains how Illinois pulled off this win. Follow him and other BTN contributors live from the tournament on BTN Connect. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post.
FINAL: Brandon Paul scored 25 points and grabbed five rebounds to lift Illinois to a 51-49 win over Minnesota on Thursday at United Center in Chicago in the Big Ten Tourney.
Illinois (22-11) held Minnesota (20-12) to 40 percent shooting from the field.
The Fighting Illini struggled from the floor, shooting 32 percent (18-of-57).
Austin Hollins scored 16 points, corralled six rebounds, and went 4-of-5 from the field for the Golden Gophers in the loss. Minnesota shared the ball to the tune of 12 assists on 16 baskets. The Golden Gophers also got a double-digit effort from Andre Hollins (13 points).
Minnesota pounded the boards hard as it grabbed 40 rebounds to 27 for Illinois. A 21-4 run over 12:31 helped the Fighting Illini take a 12-point lead late in the first. Joseph Bertrand capped the run off with a field goal that helped the Fighting Illini lead 25-16 at the half.
HALFTIME: Illinois held Minnesota’s offense to just six first-half field goals, and the Fighting Illini lead 25-16 at halftime. Trailing 7-2, Illinois used an 11-0 run to blow past the Golden Gophers and take a six-point lead. Seven Illinois players scored in the first half.
Minnesota applied the pressure in the first half, earning second-chance opportunities with nine offensive rebounds, to just three for the Fighting Illini. Illinois’ Brandon Paul has 12 points and three rebounds. Joe Coleman is leading the Golden Gophers. The sophomore has four points, six rebounds, and three assists.
Paul finds Egwu for the two-handed slam.
Bertrand drives baseline for the throw-down.
Egwu tips inbound pass, Paul buries the shot
Mbakwe flips it up to tie the game
Andre Hollins cans back-to-back three-pointers
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