In a thrilling showdown during the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, No. 13 Illinois pulled off a remarkable comeback against Ohio State, clinching a hard-fought 77-74 win.

Coleman Hawkins
Coleman Hawkins (Image source: Twitter)

Crucial Moments

The game reached a pivotal moment when Ohio State’s Jamison Battle nailed a clutch 3-pointer, putting his team ahead 71-71 with just 1:44 remaining. However, Terrence Shannon Jr. and Coleman Hawkins remained composed, sinking crucial free throws to edge Illinois ahead 75-74 in the dying minutes.

Shannon’s Brilliance

Shannon emerged as the hero, sinking two more free throws with only 11.3 seconds left, securing a three-point lead for Illinois. Despite Ohio State’s attempt to force overtime with a last-second three-pointer, their effort fell short, sealing Illinois’ impressive victory.

Standout Performances

While Shannon led the scoring with 28 points, Dain Dainja and Ty Rodgers made significant contributions. Dainja impressed with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Rodgers delivered a double-double performance with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Ohio State’s Resilience

Despite the loss, Ohio State showcased resilience, with Battle leading the charge with 21 points, supported by Bruce Thornton’s 20 points and 10 assists.

Coach’s Perspective

Interim coach Jake Diebler commended his team’s determination and late-season surge, expressing confidence in their postseason prospects.

Looking Ahead

With this victory, Illinois advances to the semifinals, awaiting the winner of the Indiana vs. Nebraska matchup. Meanwhile, Ohio State awaits the NCAA Tournament selection on Sunday, hopeful for a spot following their late-season resurgence.

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