I'm keepin' it short and sweet tonight since we're all processing the Signing Day aftermath. Sure, Penn State cut it to three with 1:29 left but there was still little doubt the Buckeyes would emerge victorious in a 75-62 win over the Nittany Lions tonight at the corner of Lane and Olentangy.
The Buckeyes built a 12 point halftime cushion (36-24) shooting 61% from the floor behind Wil Buford's 11 points on 4/4 shooting and David Lighty's 3/4 from distance. Evan Turner was his usual poor-man's-Magic self posting five points, six boards and four dimes in the opening 20 minutes. Watching Turner on mute at a local watering hole, I drunkenly observed that his handles are getting increasingly sharp in traffic. Is that fact or fiction? Personally, I sense a much tighter string on the pill when he's whirling his way to a layup, foul or kickout, especially with his left.
Turner went into beast mode after halftime scoring 22 of his game high 27 including nine straight on an array of pull up jumpers before Talor Battle battled back to cut it to 65-62 with 1:53 to play. Not quite done, Turner assisted Jon Diebler on a triple and hit 3/4 charity tosses pacing a 10-0 coffin slammer over the final 1:30 to seal the deal.
When the smoke cleared from the true national player of the year's line, he had 27 points on 9/15 from the floor and 9/11 from the stripe plus 10 boards, six assists and three steals. John Wall, my ass.
Buford was also sharp tonight backing up a career high 26 points with 19 on 5/10 from the floor including 8/8 from the line along with five dimes and four rips. Lighty scored nine of his 12 in the first half while Dallas Lauderdale added five points and seven boards. Once again, Madsen was the only Pine Soul to play much minutes logging 14 while showcasing his smooth midrange jumper with six points on 3/5 from the floor.
Outside of the big three, Diebler was in full fledged Ghost-mode hitting just 1/7 shots with no boards or assists in 40 minutes. At ths point, is there any doubt he's clearly OSU's distant fourth best overall player behind ET, Buford and D-Light? That was rhetorical.
For the game, OSU shot 50%, won the battle of the glass again (28-24) and coughed it up just six times in a game that saw them play to the level of their competition for a bit in the final 15 minutes. Still, the D locked it down late moving to 7-3 in conference and a 2nd place tie with Wisconsin and Purdue. The last two layup's takes place Sunday against Iowa and Wednesday in Bloomington before the gauntlet of @ Illy, Purdue and @ Sparty. At this point, I'd say the Bucks have a decent shot of capturing two of three to make the title chase even more interesting. Simply put, With Evan Turner, All Things Are Possible.
Almost forgot. Talor Battle is a stud. Little man went for 24, nine and seven. I still think he and ET were easily the top two most valuable last year. Holy shit, Jason just texted me saying Henderson isn't signing with USC just yet. Later.