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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 13, 2010

CBKB: Turner leads Ohio St. past Illinois 88-81 in 2OT

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS Evan Turner rescued No. 6 Ohio State for the second straight day in the Big Ten tournament.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Evan Turner rescued No. 6 Ohio State for the second straight day in the Big Ten tournament.

He scored 12 of his 31 points after regulation, helping the Buckeyes pull away for an 88-81 double overtime victory over Illinois in the semifinals.

Turner finished with a triple double 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 turnovers. The conference player of the year also had six assists and two steals, enough to give the Buckeyes their sixth straight victory and a trip to Sunday's title game against No. 6 Purdue or sixth-seeded Minnesota.

A day earlier, Turner was at his dramatic best. He dribbled upcourt and sank a 37-footer at the buzzer to send Ohio State past Michigan 69-68 in the quarterfinals.

Illinois (19-14) was led by Demetri McCamey, who scored 19 of his 22 points after the first 20 minutes, and Mike Davis with 13 points and 18 rebounds. Davis fell one rebound short of matching Greg Oden's single-game record for rebounds.

The Fighting Illini will now have to wait to see whether they've done enough to impress the NCAA selection committee to warrant one of the 34 at-large bids.

Illinois twice had chances to win at the buzzer but both shots came after the buzzer. Davis had an open layup at the end of regulation, but it rolled off the rim. D.J. Richardson had a 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime, but officials waved off the attempt, too.

It was a wacky game.

Ohio State went through a 7-minute, 16-second scoring drought in the first half when Illinois turned a 15-7 deficit into a 21-15 lead. Then early in the second half, the Buckeyes went another 4:32 without scoring a point, falling into a 45-35 hole.

But Ohio State rallied round Turner, who scored seven points in a 20-0 run that gave the Buckeyes a 59-50 lead with 8 minutes left in regulation.

Then Illinois charged back with six straight points and finally took a 64-61 lead when McCamey hit a 3 with 1:17 to go. William Buford tied the score with a layup, McCamey hit two free throws and Turner drove in for a reverse layup with 12 seconds left to make it 66-66.

In the first overtime, Illinois took a 75-71 lead on Tyler Griffin's tip-in with 86 seconds to go. But Turner scored the final four points and Richardson couldn't get his shot off in time.

Turner took control in the second overtime. After Jon Diebler opened it with a 3-pointer, Turner made back-to-back layups to give Ohio State an 82-77 lead and Illinois never got another chance to tie it.