staff, January 5, 2013

Brandon Paul scored 19 points and No. 11 Illinois bounced back from a tough loss in its Big Ten opener to beat No. 8 Ohio State 74-55 on Saturday. The Illini (14-2, 1-1) led 37-25 at halftime and used a 13-2 run early in the second half to build a 50-27 lead.

Illinois used stingy defense to shut down the Buckeyes (11-3, 1-1), who shot just 33 percent from the field and turned the ball over 16 times.

Nnanna Egwu added 16 points for Illinois and Tracy Abrams had 13 points and five assists.

Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State with 24 points.


Nnanna Egwu powerful two-handed flush:

Aaron Craft steal leads to Deshaun Thomas dunk:

Joseph Bertrand goes for highlight-reel reverse alley-oop:

Left wide open, Tyler Griffey hammers it home:

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FINAL: Recap to come.

HALFTIME: No. 14 Illinois leads 37-25 over No. 8 Ohio State at the half thanks to solid production from Tracy Abrams, who has seven points, four rebounds and four assists. The Fighting Illini led by as many as 16 points and never trailed. The long-distance game has been bottled up for Illinois, which made 3-of-15 from beyond the arc, but shot 74 percent (14-of-19) on two-point shots.  The Buckeyes applied the pressure in the first half, earning second-chance opportunities with 11 offensive rebounds, to just six for the Fighting Illini. Lenzelle Smith Jr. had a big first half, with eight points and three rebounds.

EDITOR'S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, posts fast recaps after every half of every Big Ten men's basketball game. Use the links above for more info on this specific game.