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Grades are in: Domask comes up big with double-double

Feb. 17—Player of the game

Illinois guard Marcus Domask

Sure, Terrence Shannon Jr. scored a team-high 27 points as he eviscerated Maryland in transition and off the dribble and knocked down crucial late free throws. Domask's impact on Illinois' 85-80 victory at Maryland, though, wasn't diminished by what's become the norm from his backcourt teammate. Domask was more efficient from the field, finishing with 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting. Not to mention his game-high 12 rebounds (11 more than Shannon) three assists and one late contest — without fouling — on a Jahmir Young layup that might have changed the game.

Backcourt

Illinois: A+

Maryland: B+

Shannon and Domask make a formidable duo in the Illinois backcourt, combing to average 42.6 points, eight rebounds and 4.8 assists in the last five games. No guard twosome has been more productive in the Big Ten. And their production Saturday was more than enough to counter Jahmir Young's game-high 28 points for the Terrapins. An inefficient 28 on just 35 percent shooting for Maryland's scoring leader.

Frontcourt

Illinois: B

Maryland: A-

The Illini mixed up their defensive coverage on Maryland's ball screen actions, and while it stymied Young a little, Julian Reese still had it too easy. The Terps' big man had his second double-double of the season against Illinois, finishing with 18 points on 6 of 8 shooting to go with 11 rebounds. Pair that with Donta Scott's efforts contributing a complementary 17 points and five rebounds, and it was enough for Maryland to outperform the Illini's Coleman Hawkins and Quincy Guerrier.

Bench

Illinois: B

Maryland: B+

The Terrapins' bench production got an unexpected boost when Scott had to be pulled from the starting lineup after slipping and falling on the concrete just outside the tunnel on the way back to the locker room. A regular starter, Scott finished with 17 of Maryland's 22 bench points. Illinois' rotation tightened up again Saturday, leaving Justin Harmon and his 10 points and three rebounds as the lone impact player off the bench.

Overall

Illinois: A-

Maryland: B+

Illinois did what it had to do to secure a Big Ten road win, making nearly all of its free throws and getting just enough stops late in the game. Running away with Saturday's game in College Park, Md., was simply never in the cards. Maryland hasn't had the type of season anyone expected from the team picked to finish third in the Big Ten, but there's a reason — namely Young and Reese — the Terps were slotted that high. Throw in a packed house with the 14th-ranked Illini in town, and a close game was inevitable. Illinois prevailed. A good sign in the stretch run of the regular season.