Game Notes: Ohio State vs. Illinois
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — David Lighty came into Tuesday night’s game against Illinois in the midst of one of the worst offensive slumps of his collegiate career.
He had been so bad at the offensive end as of late that Fighting Illini coach Bruce Weber opted not to cover him in some of their defensive sets. That turned out to be a huge mistake because Lighty caught fire in the second half of Ohio State’s 89-70 win over Illinois.
The fifth-year senior scored 17 of a game-high 21 points to help the Buckeyes rebounded from their second loss of the season Sunday at Purdue. It was a quick turn-around for Lighty and his teammates, but they still scored more points on Illinois than any team in the Big Ten this season.
They shot 57-percent in the first half—thanks to 17 points from William Buford—and 53-percent for the game, becoming the first team do shoot over 50 percent against the Illini since last year’s meeting in Columbus.
More Lighty Notes:
- With a team-high 21 points, Lighty now has 1,363 for his career. He is five points behind Brent Darby for 23rd-place in career scoring at Ohio State
- Lighty had a career-high six steals, pushing his Ohio State second-place record to 187.
- Lighty’s six steals are the most ever by a Buckeye vs. Illinois. The previous high was five, recorded by Scoonie Penn, 2/27/00.
- The game vs. Illinois marked senior David Lighty’s 116th career start for Ohio State, tying Perry Carter for fifth-place in career games started in a Buckeye jersey.
- Lighty reeled off 13-consecutive points for the Buckeyes in the second-half to expand Ohio State’s lead to 17 at the 11:41 mark.
Ohio State Team Notes:
- The Buckeyes’ 26-2 overall record is the second-best start in school history (1960-61, 27-0).
- Ohio State improves to 4-2 this season vs. ranked teams.
- With the win over Illinois, Ohio State extends its home win streak to 20 games dating back to last season. It is tied for the fourth-longest streak in Buckeye history. The other 20-game win streak dated from 12/9/44 (58-31 win vs. Michigan State) to 1/4/47 (43-41 win vs. Minnesota). The streak was broken by Indiana on 1/6/47.
- With the win, Ohio State improves to 56-18 vs. Big Ten competition at Value City Arena. They are 140-23 overall, including an 80-5 mark vs. non-conference opponents.
- Ohio State improves to 5-2 vs. Illinois at Value City Arena.
- The Buckeyes extend their win streak vs. the Illini to five games, including 10 of the last 12.They swept the season series after downing No. 23 Illinois 73-68 in Champaign, 1/22/11.
- The Buckeyes are 64-99 vs. the Illini all-time, with an overall Big Ten record of 714-660.
- Ohio State improved to 39-40 vs. Illinois in Columbus
- The win vs. Illinois was the first time all season that the Illini allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent from the field (Ohio State shot 53 percent), snapping a 37-consecutive game streak. Ohio State was also the last team to accomplish this feat, shooting 53.1 percent on 2/14/10.
-Illinois’ Leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage, the Illini defense allows its counterparts to shoot only 38.7 percent from the field.
- Ohio State only committed three turnovers vs. the Illini. They are first in the Big Ten and second nationally in turnover margin with a plus-5.44 margin.
Thad Matta Notes:
- Matta has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last six seasons. That effort surpassed Fred Taylor's mark of 10+ league wins in each of the five seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta's first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last four (10, 10, 14, 11).
- Since Matta took over at Ohio State in 2004-05, the Buckeyes have amassed 82 Big Ten wins, tying Wisconsin for first in the conference.
- Matta is now 10-3 vs. Illinois in his career, with an overall mark of 92-39 against Big Ten opponents.
- The three turnovers are the fewest in the Matta era at Ohio State. The previous low in turnovers was four vs. Davidson in the 2006 NCAA tournament, 3/17/06.
Ohio State Player Notes:
- The Buckeye’s boast two of the top three conference leaders in steals. Aaron Craft leads the Big Ten with 1.89 spg and David Lighty is third with 1.67 spg. Against Illinios, they had a combined eight steals. Ohio State leads the Big Ten as a team in steals. They had nine steals vs. the Illini, who only had one.
- With three made 3-pointers vs. Illinois, senior Jon Diebler now has 336 for his career, extending his Big Ten record for most career made 3-pointers that he set with two 3-pointers Feb. 20 at Purdue, passing Pete Lisicky (332, Penn State, 1994-98) for the top spot.
- With three made 3-pointers, Diebler extends his streak to 44 games in a row with at least one 3-pointer made.
- Diebler’s 2.70 average of made 3-pointers per game is first in the Big Ten
- Diebler’s 47.7 percent shooting percentage from 3-point range is No. 3 in the Big Ten.
- With 13 points against the Illini, Diebler now has 1,381 career points, three away from tying Brian Brown (1, 384) for 21st-place in career scoring at Ohio State.
- Diebler has made 25 of his last 26 free-throw attempts dating back to the last Illinois game (1/22/11).
- Junior guard William Buford had 17 points, pushing his career total to 1,267, one shy of passing Clark Kellogg (1, 285) for 27th-place in career scoring at Ohio State.
- The 17 point-performance for Buford is the 21st time this season he has scored in double-figures.
- Aaron Craft had six assists. He now has 128 assists on the season to just 63 turnovers. Craft averages 4.7 assists/game.
- Craft also had two steals for 53 total on the season (his 1.89 average per game is first in the Big Ten).
Game Play by Play
Season Stats Year to Date
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