>>Illinois Falls At Minnesota
Amir Coffey led a balanced Minnesota attack with 18 points and six assists as the Golden Gophers defeated Illinois 86-75 on Wednesday night.
Jordan Murphy had 16 points and 10 rebounds as five players scored in double figures for the Gophers (16-5, 6-4 Big Ten), who overcame a slow start on a night when the temperature at game time was minus-19 Fahrenheit, with a forecast low of minus-30 overnight.
The Illini earned their first Big Ten win of the season on Jan. 16 in a 95-68 blowout of the Gophers. But Minnesota is 3-1 since then, with its only loss coming at the buzzer at Michigan.
Freshman Gabe Kalscheur scored 14 and Isaiah Washington added 12 for Minnesota, while Daniel Oturu, who missed the Gophers’ victory over Iowa on Sunday with a shoulder injury, had 11 points and eight boards off the bench.
Trent Frazier led Illinois (6-15, 2-8) with 30 points on 10-for-14 shooting, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range. Andres Feliz scored 11 and Tevian Jones added 10 for the Illini, who led by as many as five points early in the second half.
Minnesota surged ahead with a 13-1 run that included two Kalscheur 3-pointers. Illinois went almost five minutes without a field goal before Feliz hit a 3 to cut Minnesota’s lead to 55-51 with 12 minutes to play.
But the Gophers weren’t done. Coffey hit a 3-pointer to jumpstart a 12-0 run that he capped with a traditional 3-point play, giving Minnesota a 69-53 lead with just over eight minutes left.
Minnesota took its first lead on Washington’s driving layup with eight minutes to play in the half, but the Illini immediately responded with a 7-2 run to go back up 28-25.
Murphy put Minnesota back on top with back-to-back dunks, but Frazier scored Illinois’ last eight points of the half, including a 3 at the buzzer to give the Illini a 39-37 lead.
Illinois hosts Nebraska on Saturday.
>>Illinois State Downs Drake
Phil Fayne scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, Zach Copeland finished with 19 and Illinois State beat Drake 69-55 on Wednesday night.
Milik Yarbrough added 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Illinois State (13-9, 6-3 Missouri Valley Conference), which has won four of its last five games. Keyshawn Evans chipped in with 11 points. Copeland, Yarbrough and Evans combined to make all nine of the Redbirds’ 3-pointers.
Fayne posted his sixth game of the season with 20-plus points.
Nick McGlynn had 15 points and seven rebounds to lead Drake (16-6, 5-4). Tremell Murphy added 11 points, and Brady Ellingson scored nine points on three 3-pointers.
Fayne scored eight points during a 13-4 surge to open the second half that stretched the Redbirds’ lead to 45-31 with 15 minutes remaining. Fayne’s dunk with 5:47 left made it 64-43.
>>Bradley Topples Evansville
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye and Darrell Brown combined to score 35 points and Bradley picked up a rare road win at Evansville, 81-73 in a Missouri Valley Conference game on Wednesday night.
The home team has dominated the series, winning 37 of 50 games, including the last three straight coming in. The Braves now own a 30-23 edge in the all-time series.
Bradley (11-11, 3-6) hit 30 of 58 from the field (51.7 percent) and held a commanding 40-27 edge on the boards, with 11 off the offensive glass. The Braves outrebounded Evansville 24-11 in the second half.
Lautier-Ogunleye hit 4 of 5 from distance and finished with 18 points and grabbed 11 boards. Brown added 17 points and dished four assists.
K.J. Riley finished with 14 points for Evansville (9-13, 3-6). Evan Kuhlman contributed 13. The Purple Aces were just 5 of 17 from the floor in the second half.