Improving Illinois earns road win over Ohio State

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[February 15, 2019]  Trent Frazier and Ayo Dosunmu each had 15 points as Illinois earned its fourth consecutive win, a 63-56 decision over Ohio State on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio.

Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Illini (10-15, 6-8 Big Ten).

Dosunmu hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to make it 62-56. Ohio State then committed a turnover to seal its fate, and Dosunmu added a free throw with 17 seconds left as the Illini won for the fifth time in six games.

C.J. Jackson scored 17 points for the Buckeyes (16-8, 6-7), who had a three-game winning streak end.

Ohio State entered the game averaging a Big-Ten high 14.2 turnovers while the Illini were the conference leaders in forcing turnovers at 15.8 per game as well as steals (8.3 per game).

The Illini scored 14 points of 18 Ohio State turnovers while the Buckeyes got eight points from 13 Illinois miscues.

It was going to be an uphill battle for the Illini, who had won just two of the previous 16 games in Value City Arena. Illinois also had been 1-11 in away and neutral-site games, including 77-67 loss to the Buckeyes at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 5.

The Illini were down 45-44 before Dosunmu made a pair of free throws and Bezhanishvili followed with a basket on the next possession for a 48-45 lead with 7:29 left. Illinois held on from there.

Illinois took its biggest lead of the first half at 27-18 with 4:21 left on a fadeaway jumper by Frazier to cap a 7-0 run. The Buckeyes went 3:42 without a point until Jackson made a free throw to make it 27-19.

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 Illinois Fighting Illini forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) drives on Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kaleb Wesson (34) during the second half at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Buckeyes pulled within 30-27 heading to halftime when Kaleb Wesson hit 3-pointer with 36 seconds left.

Ohio State plays at No. 11 Michigan State on Sunday. Illinois plays at No. 20 Wisconsin on Monday.

--Field Level Media

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