With more than a dozen friends and family on hand, the OH native knew this was his last chance to play in his home state and the senior came to play scoring a season high 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting but an 11-minute, 31 second first half scoring drought ultimately proved to be too much to overcome.
Keita Bates-Diop poured in career-high 35 points as Ohio State kept pace in the Big Ten race with a 75-67 victory against IL on Sunday at Value City Arena.
IL jumped out of the gate grabbing a 30-15 lead halfway through the first half, but then they went cold.
But the hot shooting didn't last.
"Look at their last game and see that they were up 40 on Rutgers to see how good they could be", Holtmann said.
"That was a frustrating first half", coach Brad Underwood said. "We do everything right". "They are just built and put together that well, and they play that well together".
Ohio State went on an impressive run.
Ohio State played without guard Kam Williams, whom Holtmann suspended indefinitely for what the program termed a "violation of team rules".
IL used its aggressive defense to create offense in the first half of the first half. His survived a first-period challenge on a takedown call and then scored eight of the next nine points.
"Really looking forward to it, I've said it before, in my mind I'm No. 1 so every guy I go against is faceless and formless in my mind, so whoever it is I'll go out there the same", said Cassar.More news: Two arrested for child porn that went viral on Facebook
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Still, it's a match the wrestling world will be tuning into, especially since it's at least on the Big Ten Network where most people can tune in. MI is one point behind Wisconsin in the conference standings, and a split seems like the logical pick. IL also beat Rutgers by 31, holding the Knights to just 60 points.
The box score from Sunday's game doesn't make much sense.
Nevills scored the initial takedown, and another in the second, to keep the match close.
Tied at 63, with just under four minutes to go, Ohio State closed out the game on a 12-4 run to secure its 11th conference victory of the season.
"It was just fun to have everyone cheer", he said after the Nittany Lions' 19-18 win Saturday night.
"If our guys aren't ready, then that's on them and me and us".
Underwood commended Alstork for his decision-making on the offensive end and also for his ball pressure on defense. McMorris became the 25th Badger to record 1,000 career points early in the third quarter, scoring a running lay-in that made the score 35-32 in favor of Ohio State.
IL will return home to face Wisconsin on Thursday. To see just how precious one of the almost 7,000 seats in the arena is, we turn to our friends at VividSeats for a full breakdown. "We've got a lot of confidence in Anthony, so I don't think we were shocked by that", Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. We can beat anybody.