College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 10, 2012
It was a great night for fellows with the surname Paul.
Texas representative Ron Paul scored a clear second in the Republican party's New Hampshire primary, but Illinois sophomore swingman Brandon Paul was first in the hearts and minds of Fighting Illini fans as he scored a career high 43 points en route to Illinois dumping #5 Ohio State, 79-74.
Paul was brilliant, going 8-for-10 from 3-point range and 11 of 15 overall, in addition to hitting 13 of 15 free throws. A homegrown product from Gurnee, Illinois, Paul more than doubled his previous season high of 21, significantly boosting his scoring average which was 12.1 points per game heading into the fray with the Buckeyes..
In addition to producing the second-highest point total in Division I this season, Paul added eight boards, two assists, two steals and four blocks, including a crucial rejection of Ohio State's star center, Jared Sullinger, in the final minute of play.
The unranked Illini improved to 15-3 and 4-1 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes dropped to 3-2 in the conference, behind a host of contenders led by 4-0 Michigan State, who demolished Iowa, 95-61. Ohio State is 15-3 overall.