Ayo Dosunmu hit two free throws with 2.3 seconds left to lift No. 8 Illinois past visiting Ohio 77-75 on Friday in the State Farm Center at Champaign, Ill.
Dosunmu finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for Illinois (3-0), which fought tooth-and-nail throughout with upset-minded Ohio (2-1).
Jason Preston was sensational for the Bobcats, as he finished with a game-high 31 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Preston scored on a spinning, right-handed floater in the lane with 7.7 seconds left to give Ohio a 75-74 lead.
Dosunmu got the Illini back on top. Taking the inbounds pass, Dosunmu scooted up the right side of the floor and got all the way to the rim before he was fouled. He then made both free throws to move Illinois back in front 76-75.
Ohio never got a shot for a buzzer-beater. After Illinois used a foul, the Bobcats’ sideline inbounds pass was picked off by Trent Frazier. Frazier was fouled and hit a free throw with less than a second left to account for the final score.
Kofi Cockburn added 13 points and 14 rebounds for Illinois, and Da’Monte Williams also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. Freshman guard Adam Miller chipped in 11 points for the Illini, who owned a huge 45-25 edge on the glass.