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No. 2 Ohio State bounces back with win over Illinois

Feb 23, 2011 - 3:10 AM Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - David Lighty had 21 points and six steals to help No. 2 Ohio State to an 89-70 thrashing of Illinois.

William Buford had 17 points and five rebounds and Jon Diebler added 13 points for the Buckeyes (26-2, 13-2 Big Ten), who bounced back from Sunday's loss at Purdue. Jared Sullinger donated 12 points and 11 boards in the win.

"We talked about getting the quick turnaround," said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. "I said we couldn't be tired because we had a great challenge tonight. We knew Illinois was going to come in and give us a good game. During timeouts I emphasized keeping the intensity up."

Mike Davis had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Illini (17-11, 7-8), who have dropped their past two. Mike Tisdale had 14 points and five boards and Jereme Richmond added 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

"We wanted to catch them off guard but they played at a very high level," said Illinois head coach Bruce Webber. "Their perimeter guys play a lot better at home."

Illinois scored the first two points of the game, but that would be the only lead the school had as the Buckeyes got the next eight to take the lead for good.

The Illini kept it close and a layup from Brandon Paul got the team to within one, 19-18, near the midway mark of the first half, but Ohio State got the next eight points.

Sullinger's dunk and a three-pointer from Diebler with just seconds left on the clock helped Ohio State take a 47-32 lead into the locker room.

Illinois got the first seven points of the second half to get its deficit back to single digits, but Ohio State responded a bit later with a 13-2 run as Lighty capped the burst on a three-ball with under 12 minutes to play for a 62-45 lead.

The Illini answered with the next eight points to get back within nine, but Deshaun Thomas hit a three-pointer then recorded a three-point play to make it a 15-point contest.

That proved to be the back-breaker as Illinois was unable to get its deficit back to single digits the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Ohio State hosts Indiana on Sunday...Illinois hosts Iowa on Saturday...Despite the loss, Illinois still leads the all-time series, 99-64. However, the Buckeyes have won the past five...Ohio State shot 53.0 percent in the game while Illinois hit 51.9 percent of its shots.