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The Buckeyes' lead hovered around four points until Kyle Madsen hit a baseline jumper and, after an Illinois turnover, Lighty took one quick step to the basket and scored on a left-handed layup while Illini big man Mike Tisdale picked up his third foul. Lighty's three-point play pushed the lead to 58-49 with 9 minutes left.
After McCamey picked up his first points of the half on an 18-foot jumper, the Buckeyes hurried the ball down the court and Buford hit a short jumper -- with Tisdale collecting his fourth foul. Buford's accompanying free throw made it 61-51.
Buford then stole a pass and drove, fouling out Tisdale, before hitting both free throws.
Illinois had made just 4 of 24 3-point shots in the earlier matchup, but came out connecting at Value City Arena. They hit 6 of their first 10 shots behind the arc and set the pace early.
The Buckeyes came back from a six-point deficit thanks to a 12-0 run fueled by Diebler's two 3-pointers to take a 28-21 lead. The Illini regained the lead at 33-32 on a three-point play by Brandon Paul, with the Buckeyes closing out the scoring on a jumper by Turner and Diebler's fifth 3-pointer of the half (he was 5 of 8) for a 37-33 halftime lead.
Ohio State's four seniors -- Madsen, Danny Peters, P.J. Hill and Mark Titus -- were honored before the game.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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