for this game

Illini find offense, beat Buckeyes

Feb 22, 2009 - 9:43 PM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Mike Davis led what amounted to an offensive explosion for Illinois.

Davis scored 22 points to lead three players in double figures Sunday as the 16th-ranked Fighting Illini posted a 70-68 victory over Ohio State on Sunday.

The Fighting Illini's efficient offensive performance came four days after a putrid showing in a 38-33 home loss to Penn State. Illinois nearly matched that putrid effort by scoring 32 first-half points against the Buckeyes.

"We couldn't make a shot Wednesday and today we started 8-of-9, so that gave us some positive momentum right away," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "The big thing is that we were knocked down on Wednesday and we got back up. You have to do that to be successful."

Trent Meachem added 17 points and Demetri McCamey had 15 and seven assists for the Illini (22-6, 10-5 Big Ten), who shot an impressive 58 percent (28-of-48).

Davis made 11-of-14 shots and also grabbed eight rebounds, helping Weber post his 150th win at the school.

Jon Diebler scored 17 points and William Buford added 14 for Ohio State (17-8, 7-7), which has lost three straight Big Ten games.

"We weren't good enough to get the job done today," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "They made some great plays and ran the shot clock down all afternoon. We just couldn't make the plays to get the lead. We were playing catch-up the whole game."

Following their horrific showing Wednesday, the Fighting Illini enjoyed a solid offensive start in this one, building a 16-8 less than six minutes into the contest on McCamey's 3-pointer.

McCamey drilled another shot from the arc and Davis had a basket as the Illini settled for a 32-27 halftime advantage.

"If you've followed us all year, that's what we are - deliberate and patient on offense," Weber said. "We knew that they (Ohio State) would lose us if we kept moving the ball around the perimeter."

The Illini held the lead the entire second half, with McCamey coming up with a pair of big baskets. He hit a 3-pointer with 9:16 left for a 50-45 advantage, then made a driving layup just under two minutes later for an eight-point bulge.

A layup by P.J. Hill with 36 seconds left allowed the Buckeyes to close to 67-65. But Meachem and McCamey made four free throws 15 seconds apart to seal things.