I am just sitting down to get my recap on and Bruce Pearl is on ESPN crying about Chris Lofton not getting any free throws. Sorry, Bruce, but that's what happens when you do nothing but launch threes. Oh wait, my bad. I guess Lofton did take 5 two pointers to go along with 13 three point attempts. Whatever.
In a game for the ages, the Buckeyes overcame a 49-32 halftime deficit outscoring the Vols 53-35 in the second half. Ron Lewis poured in 25, Mike Conley had 17 and 7 boards and the Buckeyes received huge efforts off the bench from David Lighty, Matt Turdwiggler and Othello Hunter. The trio combined for 16 points and 10 rebounds in extended minutes as foul trouble hurt OSU early. Greg Oden finished with only 9 points and 3 rebounds in limited action but he came up big in the final possession. After Conley hit the first of two free throws to give OSU the 85-84 lead, he missed the second and UT's Ramar Smith rebounded and drove the length of the court. With Conley pressuring Smith to his right, Oden raced over and swatted away Smith's 6 foot runner as time expired to secure the win and a date with Memphis on Saturday.
Sure, the first half smelled like hot garbage, but this team showed again that it can win without Oden and their heart can not be questioned. I just hope they have enough left in the tank to compete with the bevy of athletes that Calipari will unleash. I know one thing, Buckeye Nation won't turn the TV's off if the Bucks are trailing at the half. Check back Friday night for a breakdown of the Tigers. Good night and Go Bucks!