14th Ranked Illini Survive In OT After Late Game Collapse

By IlliniGuys Staff

February 4, 2024

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Coleman Hawkins scored 20 points and had a key steal in the final seconds of overtime as 14th ranked Illinois escaped an upset bid by Nebraska, 88-84 Sunday night.

"I thought we just stayed connected", Marcus Domask told Big Ten Network's Robbie Hummel after the game. "They were hitting shots, Coleman Hawkins was hitting tough shots.  But I felt like every time out we just settled down and we knew that if we stayed together, we'd win this game."

Illinois appeared on its way to a victory when Terrence Shannon Jr. drained a three-pointer with 3:29 on the clock and a 72-62 Illini lead.  But Nebraska went on an 11-0 run, capped off by a Rienk Mast layup with nine seconds left.  Domask, the second-best free throw shooter in the Big Ten at 89 percent, hit one of two free throws with three seconds left to force overtime at 73-73.

The win lifts Illinois (17-5, 8-3) into a second place tie in the Big Ten with 6th ranked Wisconsin, which lost at home to #2 Purdue earlier in the day.

Domask finished with 19 points and Shannon had 18.  Ty Rodgers pulled down 14 rebounds.

Nebraska (16-6, 6-6) was led by a career-high 31 points from Keisei Tominaga.

"I think our defense has got to pick up", Domask said. "Earlier in the year, we were really solid in that end, but it's kind of fallen off a little bit.  So we've been getting after it in practice and that's something we're really focused on."

The Illini will be idle until visiting Michigan State Saturday afternoon (1pm CT, CBS).

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for complete postgame coverage.

 

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