Illinois, playing tight zone defense, was able to stick around in the first half despite Michigan State’s height advantage.
Nebraska (14-8, 5-4 Big Ten), fresh off a 20-point win over then-No. 23 Michigan on Thursday, tied it at 46 with 7:56 left with a 3-pointer from James Palmer Jr., who finished with a career-high 34 points.
The lead changed six times in the next four minutes. A pair of foul shots by Palmer cut Ohio State’s lead to four with 2:19 remaining, but the Cornhuskers couldn’t pull any closer.
Nebraska: The surprising Cornhuskers knocked off a ranked team last week and are a better squad than last season with Palmer carrying the load. But they couldn’t outlast the gritty Buckeyes, who are on a roll.
I thought we did a lot of good things defensively, Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. I was disappointed with our offense in the second half. A game like this you’re only going to get so many chances.
They passed this test with flying colors.
Justin Robinson scored 19 points, Ahmed Hill had 18 and the Hokies pulled away in the second half to beat the Tar Heels 80-69 on Monday night.
Blackshear added 16 points for Virginia Tech (14-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which used a 13-3 run after the Tar Heels closed to within three to open a 64-51 advantage with just under eight minutes remaining. UNC never got closer than eight again.
Joel Berry and Luke Maye scored 23 points each for the Tar Heels (16-5, 5-3). North Carolina turned the ball over 13 times to Virginia Tech’s nine, and Virginia Tech outscored them 11-2 off those mistakes.
We have some issues and that’s my responsibility, coach Roy Williams said. I used to say I shouldn’t have to coach effort and intensity but I’m trying to coach that and not doing a very good job at it. It’s frustrating.