WATCH: Illinois Fighting Illini Star Ayo Dosunmu Brings Down The Hammer Against Nebraska Cornhuskers

Published 02/13/2021, 8:09 AM EST
Jan 7, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) reacts after his three point basket in the second half against the Northwestern Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports


The Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers last night. They lived up to their name and fought till the end to win 77-72 in an overtime battle. The star of the show was junior guard Ayo Dosunmu once again.

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He led the Fighting Illini with 31 points, including a sensational dunk. They broke on the fast break but got slowed down due to a fumble. As he received the ball, Dosunmu charged to the rim, and almost got a poster, however, the defender moved aside in time. The commentator exclaimed a poster, but he just fell short.

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It was one of the highlights of the game and another reminder of Dosunmu’s athleticism. He played 43 minutes and scored a game-high 31 points while shooting 12-23 from the field. He also grabbed six assists and four steals to seal an all-round performance. I

Can the Illinois Fighting Illini carry this form and win the Big Ten title?

This was the Fighting Illini’s 14th win of the season and their fifth win in a row. The biggest win during this run is their 80-75 triumph over the Iowa Hawkeyes. They successfully held Luka Garza under 20 points, while Dosunmu went off, scoring 25 points in an excellent shooting display.

The Fighting Illini have a 14-5 record overall, and a 10-3 record in the Big Ten conference. They are second behind Michigan who have an 8-1 record. Their game against the Wolverines got postponed, and if they play later, it could help decide the outcome of this title race.

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The Fighting Illini also have to stay consistent, as the Ohio State Buckeyes are trailing closely. Their last game of the season is a rematch against the Buckeyes, which will be a big game. The Buckeyes won the first encounter and had a six-point victory. Illinois will be keen on getting their revenge when they meet again in March.

Jan 16, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) drives against Ohio State Buckeyes forward Justice Sueing (14) during the second half at the State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

They haven’t won a regular-season title since 2005 and will be motivated to break this 16-year barren run. Winning that title will further motivate them in the NCAA tournament. The closest they came was being runner-up in 2005 when they fell to the UNC Tar Heels.

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The Fighting Illini have multiple records to set straight this season, and they have a determined set of players to achieve that.

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Aaron Mathew

1547 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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