The Illinois Fighting Illini (22-11) defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-12) 51-49 on a buzzer beater jump shot by Brandon Paul. Paul ended the game with 25 points and five rebounds.
The other senior guard for the Illini D.J. Richardson came up with a huge three-pointer to tie the game at 49 late in the second half. Richardson had struggled for most of the game shooting 1-11 prior to making the tying three.
Minnesota made a huge run in the second half to erase a 12 point deficit. Austin Hollins and Andre Hollins played a huge role in bringing the Gophers back and eventually gave them the lead against the Illini. Austin Hollins led the team with 16 points and Andre Hollins had 13 points and eight rebounds.
There was electricity in the air as the Gophers took the lead and the Illini were scrapping to get back in rhythm. The veteran players of the Illini managed to keep their composure and keep the game within reach with the help of a few Minnesota turnovers.
Paul’s game winning bucket gave the Illini a huge lift and really gave them momentum heading into the next round against Indiana. Last time the Illini faced the Hoosiers in the state of Illinois, the Illini won on a game winner from Tyler Griffey.