Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 12 of his 17 points in the first half, Jayden Epps added 14 points in his second career start and Illinois beat Ohio State 69-60 on Tuesday night.
The Illini scored six straight points spanning halftime to build a 38-26 lead early in the second half. Ohio State scored the next five points before Epps opened and closed a 10-0 run with 3-pointers to extend the lead to 48-31. The Buckeyes wouldn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.
Matthew Mayer had 12 points and eight rebounds and Coleman Hawkins added 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks for Illinois (14-6, 5-4 Big Ten), which has won five of its last six games. Shannon made all nine of his free-throw attempts, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
Illinois ranks third in the country with 6.1 blocked shots per game and finished with six against the Buckeyes. Illinois shot 41% despite making just 5 of 28 from 3-point range, while Ohio State was 22 of 60 (37%). The Illini outrebounded Ohio State 44-30 and had a 16-1 advantage in fast-break points.
Brice Sensabaugh scored 14 points and Justice Sueing added 13 for Ohio State (11-9, 3-6). Sensabaugh was coming off a season-high 27 points in a win over Iowa on Saturday before being named the conference’s freshman of the week for the fourth time. Sensabaugh has led the Buckeyes in scoring in 11 consecutive games.
Both teams play again Saturday. Illinois travels north to face Wisconsin, and Ohio State continues its road trip against Indiana.