Illini outlast Buckeyes in quarterfinal thriller

Mar. 15—MINNEAPOLIS — Illinois' first game of the Big Ten tournament was closer than the Illini would have preferred.

But the second-seeded Illini weathered the storm to claim a 77-74 quarterfinal win over the 10th-seeded Buckeyes at Target Center.

A pair of offensive rebounds from Coleman Hawkins in the game's final minute were partially to thank as they set up game-clinching free throws from Terrence Shannon Jr.

Shannon paced Illinois with 28 points, three rebounds and three assists. Dain Dainja added 18 points and eight rebounds and Ty Rodgers chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jamison Battle led the Buckeyes with 21 points to couple with three rebounds.

Illinois will face sixth-seeded Indiana or third-seeded Nebraska in the semifinal round at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.