CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- With 14 seconds left on the clock in overtime Thursday, Ohio State led Illinois by three points but the Buckeyes needed one last stop.
Illinois' Malcolm Hill lost the ball near the Buckeye basket, Keita Bates-Diop came up with it and fed Mickey Mitchell, who loped to the other end of the court for an easy layup with four seconds left that locked up a 68-63 win.
''I'm still trying to figure out how Mickey Mitchell came out of there with that basketball,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ''I've never seen anything like it. I'm glad he did.''
The end may not have made much sense to Matta, but the win was tough to figure out, too.
Both teams played sloppy. Ohio State (14-8, 6-3 Big Ten) hit 39 percent of its shots and Illinois just 32 percent.
''It wasn't always pretty, but both teams were going at it,'' Illinois coach John Groce said.
Trevor Thompson, who led Ohio State with 16 points, acknowledged that a month earlier the young Buckeyes might not have come out of the game with a win.
''I feel like we've definitely grown up,'' he said.
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JaQuan Lyle hit a pair of free throws, his only points of the night, with 14 seconds left in overtime to put the Buckeyes up 66-63 before Mitchell iced the game.
The Illini (10-11, 2-6) trailed by 13 with 6:34 to play but fought back and tied the game at 58-58 on a 3-pointer by Jalen Coleman-Lands with 56.9 seconds left in regulation.
But Illinois scored just five points in overtime
Bates-Diop finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds for Ohio State and Marc Loving scored 11 with 10 boards.
Kendrick Nunn led Illinois with 24 points, including five 3-pointers.
The Buckeyes used a big offensive rebounding edge, 13-5, to put away a dozen second-chance points. Illinois had just four.
In all, the Buckeyes grabbed 51 rebounds to Illinois' 34.
And the Illini were 18-31 from the free throw line.
Illinois opened the game with a 13-2 lead. But the Illini had just one field goal, a jumper by Nunn, between the 11:25 mark of the first half and halftime.
Hill finished with 12 points for the Illini and Coleman-Lands 11.
Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate fouled out in overtime. He finished with nine points.