Pat checks in after the Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener against Illinois.
Thursday night started a defense of the Ohio State men’s basketball teams 2 time regular season Big Ten title hunt. Starting the Big Ten season means basketball season is well underway and this game is the same game just a few years ago that Ohio State coach Thad Matta coached his first Big Ten game, Champaign, Illinois.
Ohio State left the Illini scratching their heads and wondering why they couldn’t score in the 2nd half, as the Buckeyes won 74-58. Led by senior Jamar Butler’s 32 points (4-7 from down town and was 8-8 from the charity stripe) the Buckeyes methodically pulled away during the 2nd half. Butler scored 15 points in a row in the 2nd half during the run that put the Buckeyes up for good. Butler also had 6 assist, 2 key ones as him and Matt Terwilliger worked the pick and pop and Terwilliger knocked down 2 big 3’s.
Othello Hunter played well for the Buckeyes adding 15 points and 7 rebounds. Illinois did one thing right holding the Buckeyes leading scorer Kosta Koufos to only 8 points. the 7 foot freshman never really got anything going.
This was a really big win for a young Ohio State team trying to prove not all was lost during last year’s NBA draft. This was Ohio State’s 17 straight Big Ten win dating back to January 2007, when the Buckeyes lost to Wisconsin, in Madison.
Ohio State moves to 10-3 on the season and 1-0 in the Big Ten. They head back to Columbus to face Northwestern Sunday night.