Despite a 32 point effort by OSU guard Duane Washington the Buckeyes fell to No. 1 seed Illinois in overtime of the Big Ten tournament title game by a final of 91-88.
The Buckeyes could not hit the broad side of a barn in the early going of the game and fell behind by 17 points in the first half at 27-10. OSU was struggling to score and Illinois was having success in the paint. It looked like it was going to be a very long day for the Buckeyes.
Washington finally got the OSU offense going, first by putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim for layups. C.J. Walker and Justice Sueing also came to life and the Buckeyes began slowly trimming the Illinois lead. Trailing by 14 late in the half, the Buckeyes went on a 10-1 run to closs the half and close the gap in the score to just five at 40-35.
Illinois opened up a double-digit lead again early in the half when they led 59-49 but OSU answered again this time with an 11-2 run to pull to withing one at 61-60.
The Buckeyes finally tied the score on a three pointer by Washington and took a two point lead when Washington scored in the paint to make the score 67-65. The lead was short-lived as Illinois went on a 7-2 spurt to lead 72-67 with 3:21 remaining.
Illinois held a three point lead with just over 20 seconds to play when Justice Sueing scored in the paint and was fouled in the act. Sueing converted the free throw and regulation ended with teams tied at 77.
After three and a half minutes of overtime play OSU held a slim one point lead at 82-81. From that point on however Illinois controlled the game and the scoreboard to seal the win.
Washington led all scorers with his 32 point outburst. Justice Sueing added 22 and C.J. Walker 16. E.J. Liddell scored 12, but had a tough time getting them. He was 3 for 16 from the field overall and 0 for 7 from behind the three point line. Six of his 12 points came from the free throw line.