February 26, 2009

COL BKB: Illinois 52, Minnesota 41

Demetri McCamey's 3-pointer touched off a game-ending, 10-point run Thursday, giving No. 20 Illinois a 52-41 victory over Minnesota.

The Illini (23-6, 11-5 Big Ten) moved within 1 ½ games of conference-leading Michigan State. Illinois will meet the Spartans Sunday.

Ralph Sampson III made a hook shot for Minnesota with 6:27 to play to bring the Golden Gophers within a point, but they did not score again.

Mike Davis led Illinois with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Trent Meacham had 13 points and McCamey had 10.

Damian Johnson paced Minnesota with 18. The Gophers (20-8, 8-8) are battling to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Their best non-conference win came early in the season against Louisville.

Minnesota, which has lost five out of seven, was limited to a 31 percent shooting performance. Other than Johnson, the Gophers made just 10-of-42 from the field.