The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Notes, player grades from No. 14 Illinois’ 87-75 away victory over Ohio State

Angel Saldivar
Fifth Year Terrence Shannon Jr. makes a drive against Rutgers on Jan. 21.

The No. 14 Illini kept the good times rolling on the road as they downed the Ohio State Buckeyes by 12 points at the Value City Arena. A strong shooting night from head coach Brad Underwood’s squad resulted in a dominant late performance for the teamʼs 16th overall win of the season. 

The second-half Illini strike again

Overall, Illinois looked much more prepared for Tuesday night’s clash than it did in recent games. A strong shooting night from the Illini spelled disaster for the Buckeyes, and by the end of regulation, the visitors had shot 51.7% from the field and 41.2% from three. 

Improved performances from across the roster resulted in a positive night, and the Illini managed to pull away on the scoreboard by the end of the first half. The second half saw the team’s signature late dominance prevail, and Illinois never lost its lead at any point during the final 20 minutes. The rejuvenation of fifth-year guard Terrence Shannon Jr. helped fuel the visitors’ late push to remain out of reach, and graduate student forward Marcus Domask put in two halves of strong shooting to claim the Illini’s seventh Big Ten win of the 2023-24 campaign. 

Illinois’ starting five players are indicated with *.

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* Marcus Domask (A)

Domask continued to do what he does best on Tuesday night, putting up 23 points against the Buckeyes on impressive 7-12 shooting. The graduate student has been lighting it up from the field lately and looked as sharp as ever in Columbus, Ohio, continuing to be a thorn in Ohio State’s side throughout the game. Despite handing over some of the offensive reigns to Shannon a bit late in the game, Domask shot the ball at a more efficient rate overall and did well bringing the ball up the floor for the Illini.

* Terrence Shannon Jr. (A)

In his best game back from suspension so far, Shannon put in an elite second half performance to save what was a below-average showing heading into halftime. After only scoring five points in the first period of play, something clicked in the locker room. Eighteen of the Chicago native’s 23 total points were scored in the second half, and Shannon remained locked in on both ends of the floor to help put the game out of reach for Ohio State. The Buckeyes had no answer as the fifth-year guard continued to heat up coming out of the break.

* Ty Rodgers (A)

Tuesday night was one of Rodgers’ most consistent games to date. In the second double-double of his career, everything was going right for the Michigan native. He missed just one shot and was a beast on both sides of the boards (four offensive, six defensive). Illinois had assists on just eight of its 31 baskets, making the two that Rodgers dished out that much more valuable. 

* Coleman Hawkins (C+)

Hawkins battled foul trouble for significant stretches of the game. He knocked down his first and only shot during his first stint, but picked up two quick fouls after checking back in at the 10-minute mark. The second half started with Hawkins on the floor and he played well for six minutes but got tagged for two fouls on one play. Taking exception on his third foul led to a technical that pushed his total to four and held him out until the final five minutes. Finishing with just five points and two rebounds is far from a typical performance from Hawkins, but he did not get much of a chance while out there.

* Quincy Guerrier (C)

Much like Hawkins, Guerrier did not play much against Ohio State. This is his second straight game as the starter with the fewest minutes and also the fewest shot attempts he has had across two games all season (5). It is unclear what is holding Guerrier out — itʼs not like there are a plethora of bad plays piling up against him — so it may just be a side effect of going deeper into the bench. 

Justin Harmon (B+)

There is a reason why Harmon has been getting the most minutes off the bench as the graduate student guard continued to showcase his talent off the bench. Harmon looked sharp against the Buckeyes and made the smart plays while remaining locked in on the defensive end. With six points on 3-6 shooting from the field, the guard was efficient while also snagging four rebounds for the Illini. 

Luke Goode (C)

It was a quiet night for Goode, who saw just 18 minutes but spent a lot of time on the floor down the stretch. He took just three shots and made one from behind the arc while reeling in three rebounds. 

Dain Dainja (B+)

Dainja was efficient with his 11 minutes on the floor. Providing a physical presence in the paint as usual, the Illini big man secured five rebounds but also committed three fouls against Ohio State. Dainja shot 3-5 from the field and 1-1 from the line for seven points on the night, including an impressive one-handed putback finish. 

Amani Hansberry (N/A)

Hansberry appeared for four minutes and scored a single bucket on two attempts against the Buckeyes.

Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn (N/A)

Gibbs-Lawhorn checked in for three minutes and had a standout one-on-one defensive possession that was ultimately nullified by a foul.


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About the Contributors
James Kim
James Kim, Sports Editor
My name is James Kim and I’m a senior studying English with a minor in business. This is my third year with The Daily Illini and it’s been an amazing ride so far. When I joined in fall 2021, I began as a staff writer for the sports section where I covered women’s tennis. In spring 2022, I became an assistant sports editor and started covering soccer and Illinois men’s basketball. From spring 2023 onwards I’ve been working as the sports editor! In addition to being an Illini and Real Madrid fanatic, I also love watching movies and TV shows. If you have any questions about writing for The DI, you can reach me at my email below. I-L-L!
Conor Blount
Conor Blount, Senior Sports Reporter
My name is Conor Blount. I’m a junior in aerospace engineering with a minor in computer science. I joined The Daily Illini in the summer of 2022 as a beat writer for the sports section and am now one of three assistant sports editors. My first beat was women’s tennis before I moved to women’s basketball in the spring. I also had the pleasure of covering several former Illini at the 2023 NFL draft and NBA summer league. If you have any questions, I can be reached at the email below.
Angel Saldivar, Assistant Photo Editor
My name is Angel Saldivar and I'm nearing the end of my Journalism degree at the University of Illinois and currently serve as the Assistant Photo Editor at the Daily Illini. When I'm not out taking photos, I'm diving into filmmaking with my film club (shoutout Illini Film and Video) or playing the drums. Got questions or just want to connect? Don't hesitate to email me!
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