COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Taylor Mikesell scored a game-high 31 points as No. 3 Ohio State erased a halftime deficit and avoided an upset with an 87-81 over Illinois Sunday.
Trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, a 13-0 run in the third quarter helped the Buckeyes (17-0, 6-0 Big Ten) tie the game at 58 with 2:16 to go in the period.
Entering the fourth quarter tied at 65, Rikki Harris made a 3-pointer and Ohio State didn’t trail again.
The Buckeyes shot 42.9% in the fourth quarter while the Fighting Illini (14-3, 4-2) went 1 of 7 from beyond the arc in that span.
Mikesell shot 50% from the field and Cotie McMahon added 22 points for Ohio State. Taylor Thierry had 12 points and swiped four steals.
Both teams matched one another in the first quarter. Illinois began 10 of 21 from the field and Genesis Bryant scored 10 points while the Buckeyes went 8 of 8 at the free throw line but shot 31.3%.
Knotted at 22 points after the opening frame, the Fighting Illini raced ahead on a 10-2 run and outscored Ohio State 25-15 in the second quarter. Illinois led 47-37 at halftime.
Kendall Bostic notched her sixth double-double of the season behind 27 points and 15 rebounds. Bryant finished with 20 points, Makira Cook had 12 and Brynn Shoup-Hill tallied 10 for Illinois.
Illinois: The seven-game winning streak came to an end for the Fighting Illini, who are second in the Big Ten standings.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes continue their program-best start to the season despite the absences of guards Madison Greene and Jacy Sheldon, who are dealing with injuries.
Illinois: At Minnesota Sunday.
Ohio State: At Nebraska Saturday.