Back On Track

By Chris Lauderback on February 22, 2011 at 8:47p
Ball going through hoop = Good Lighty's line: 21 pts, 4 rbs, 6 steals, 2 assists, 0 TO

Looking to bounce back from the salty trip to West Lafayette, Ohio State placed five in double figures led by 21 from a previously struggling David Lighty, to overwhelm Illinois 89-70 tonight in an underwhelming Value City Arena. (Seriously, if the Nuthouse can't do any better than that, we might as well revert back to the blue hairs.)

William Buford, after foul trouble kept him from ever establishing a rhythm at Purdue, added 17 points, all in the 1st half. Jon Diebler chipped in 13 (3/3 3FG), Aaron Craft tossed in 12 points and six dimes while Jared Sullinger had the quietest dub-dub I've ever seen with 12 points and 11 rips.

Hell bent on erasing the taste of the convincing beating handed out by Purdue, the Buckeyes started fast jumping out to an 8-2 lead behind two long jumpers from Buford, a Lauderdunk of a Lighty miss and a nice pull up jumper in the lane by Jon Diebler.

Mike Tisdale then proceeded to ignite a three point barrage from Illinois, draining two straight treys in between a silky smooth elbow jumper from Buford to make it 10-8 with 14:47 left. Out of the starting lineup despite making 109 career starts, Demetri McCamey entered at the stoppage in play and promptly buried a trey of his own after back to back Buckeye layups. Moments later, Bradon Paul struck from distance before an OSU goaltending call brought the Illini to within 19-18 at the 10:23 mark.

The Buckeyes gained some separation via an 8-0 run with six points coming from Buford via a triple off a nice baseline screen from Sullinger and another three points coming at the stripe as Buford was hacked in the act beyond the arc to make it 27-18 good guys.

An amazing four threes later – on four attempts – Illinois was back in business trailing just 33-30 with 6:07 left in the half.

Time to flip the switch. Behind Buford, Ohio State closed the final 6:07 on a 14-2 tear to take a 47-32 lead into the locker room. Sully got it started with a putback in traffic and Lighty made a contribution with a bank shot in the lane before the WB converted a conventional and-1 off a tip in of an Aaron Craft miss to push OSU in front 40-30.

Finally, after Craft hit a jumper from the top of the key answered by a Paul jumper, Buford dropped two sick dimes, one to Sullinger for a dunk and the other off a sweet drive and dish to a wide open Diebler who capitalized by splashing the triple to give OSU the 15 point halftime bulge.

Ohio State was able to overcome the Illini’s 8/9 performance from distance in the opening half thanks to 57% shooting of their own without committing a turnover. At the other end, Illinois turned it over nine times allowing the Buckeyes to post a lopsided 18-0 points off turnovers edge. Though the perimeter D struggled once again, Illinois registered just four points in the paint compared to 26 for the Buckeyes.

It appeared another 2nd half sleepwalk might in store as Illinois opened the half with an 11-2 burst cutting the OSU lead to 49-43 at the 14:58 mark but an unexpected cameo by Good David Lighty followed.

Struggling in virtually every facet of his game for what seems like a few weeks, Lighty scored all 13 Buckeye points during a 13-2 blitz giving OSU a comfortable 62-45 lead with 11:42 remaining. Lighty's freaky outburst began with a three pointer, followed by an actual conversion of a pair of free throws, then a steal leading to steal and dunk while hacked in the act. Lighty again buried the free throw then converted another steal into a layup before capping his orgasmic burst with another triple.

Illinois tried to fight back with an 8-0 run capped by a McCamey threeball but another guy needing to get back on track, Deshaun Thomas, scored six straight points with a triple of his own followed by a conventional three point play, off a putback of a Lighty miss, putting the Buckeyes in front 68-53 with 9:28 left. Illinois would cut the lead to 10 twice in the final nine minutes but never threatened as Ohio State improved to 26-2 overall and 13-2 in conference action.

Keeping with the 1st half theme of valuing the ball, Ohio State finished with just three turnovers against 16 for Illinois, producing a 25-6 bulge in points off turnovers. The Buckeyes shot a blistering 53% from the floor overall. While Matta's crew forced a gaggle of turnovers, they allowed the Illini to connect on 52% from the floor. To their credit, OSU did tighten up on the perimeter in the final 20 minutes holding the Illini to 3/12 after their ridicuolus 8/9 showing in the 1st half. Ohio State won the boards 30-29 against the lanky (and pasty) Illini front line including a 13-9 edge on the offensive glass.

Next up for Ohio State, a date with Tom Crean's Hoosiers in the Schott at 4pm on Sunday. Can you smell the regular season title?



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Buckeyebrowny919's picture

kinda scary the games teams put together when they come to face us..8 of 9 starting off from 3??? we sure know how to weather some of these storms, thank god

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

osubucks10's picture

after reading a few Illini blogs' game open threads and live chats (customary for me to read what opposing fans are saying after Buckeye Ws), the Illinois fans are very complimentary of this Buckeye team.. saying that we are a bunch of pro players vs. their average college guys, Bucks are a final four team etc..

However, one comment that stood out was about our attendance and how we dont deserve top-3 basketball teams because we don't show up for game, students dont fill their section, etc.

I semi-agree with them; why do we not fill up the Schott (put all "we are a football school" comments aside)..  For Columbus residents and OSU students, why are we not going to home games?  We are amongst the premier programs in the Country.  A deep tourney run would solidify us as an elite program.  I know the Schott is 18k+, but for a big city with a HUGE athletic following, what is the deal??


just wanted to hear from friendly thoughts


osujake9's picture

The problem I have is to get a good seat you have to pay a decent amount of money and go to a game that is at its earliest 7:00pm on a weekday. I know you can probably get upper seats for cheap but the view from up there is AWFUL! I would much rather watch at home and be able to see what's going on. That's my excuse at least.


Bish's picture

I don't want to make excuses for the people around Columbus, but there was a lot going on tonight in the city, combined with the cold weather, which we all know shuts down Cbus.  With the Blue Jackets going, the Crew playing at home, and the Buckeyes in one night it's hard to fill all the seats in all the stadiums.  Again, there is no reason why we can't fill it, but I am kind of curious on how the other clubs did tonight with everything going on.

gravey's picture

I was in their half-empty spaceship some years ago when they had a great team....and I can guarantee there isn't anything else going on in Champaign-Urbana....short of going to the Custard Cup. 

wiz khalifa's picture

OSUBUCKS10 i comepletley agree with you, but it is the football thing, basketball will just never have the popularity football does, not that its right, it just is, i was there, it got loud at times but i definitly agree, it could and should be alot better

Alex's picture

nice win for the bounce back. should handle the hoosiers at home Sunday. Don't sleep on the game at Penn State though. They have a similar football school complex like us but i think their fans will come out for that one.

osubucks10's picture

MSU self-destructing at Minn.. I was thinking MSU was poised to threaten in the B10 tourney

BigRedBuckeye's picture


And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

Jdadams01's picture

This. And the football school excuse definitely doesn't cut it. We make fun of Miami for only half filling their stadium. Teams should make fun of us for not supporting our basketball team.

tomcollins's picture

Half of this hate wouldn't happen if we had a 10,000 seat arena like everyone else.

The_Lurker's picture

What was the attendance? They were announcing Sunday night that they'd already sold 17,000 tickets so I was expecting a sellout or close to it.

Bish's picture

Attendance: 18,085

Chris Lauderback's picture

it definitely looked pretty full by mid 1st half except the usual pockets in the rafters behind each basket. definitely a decent Tuesday night crowd for OSU with CBJ also playing. I think there was even a soccer game somewhere? Like I said last night, my issue last night was more about how quiet the students were than about total attendance.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

As much as I love attending tOSU games (which is very rare for me being in AZ), there is no better seat than in front of a giant HD TV. Regardless of the sport. That is just a product of the increasing improvements in technology in entertainment. Plus, you are in the comfort of your own home, can engage in whatever mistivous shenanigans you want, and still enjoy yourself. Not to mention, don't have to fight the elements, other people, traffic, etc. And as mentioned before, tickets are NOT cheap for good seats at any event. tOSU is a top 5 program because of what they do on the court, not because of how many students fill the student section. Or how many fans fill the seats.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Jake's picture

I completely agree

btalbert25's picture

 I agree that TV is the best way to watch a game typically, but I just don't think my attitude has changed that way in the last 10 years before pretty much all of the free world had HD.  I just can't turn on HD and say man that is so much better than TV used to be.  I get the picture is better, but I don't think it really enhances the game any  more for me than an old tube TV did.   It's much better to sit on your couch, than being crammed in bleachers.  Beer is better when it's not 7  or 8 bucks per and you don't have to drive home from the game.  I for one have always had this attitude about games though.  It just gets stronger the older I get.


Doc's picture

What is the cost of a student ticket?  Maybe they need to think about lowering it so more students go to the game.  I still think they need to schedule more Friday night +/or Saturdays.  Getting to  a weeknight or even a Sunday afternoon game is just not going to happen for us out of towners, especially with little kids who need to get to school the next day.

CJDPHoS Member

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Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I could have bought club seats, a pair, behind the basket for 140. That is pricey to have a very bad view of the game so I passed. I've paid 200 a ticket for good club seats before but that hurts the pockets. I saw a pair on eBay for row A near the baseline go for 300. Tickets are expensive and the 300 level sucks! Seating is smaller than your elementary school-sized desk and less comfortable.

TLB's picture

It's an NBA style arena, the atmosphere, now matter what they do to bring the students closer, will always be a little stale.  What they did this year with students is a definate upgrade though.

I wish the corporations that purchase club level tickets would give them to employees that would love to go a game, when they are not being used.  That one section behind the students was a little embarrassing.

Peter Pete Peterson's picture

I'm in Cleveland. Going to games is a challenge no matter what. So...I love watching on my big screen HDTV! The food is hot, the beer is cold, my shoes are off, my feet are up!
However...I will be in Indianapolis for the B1G Championship, that will be FANtastic! I will weigh in when I can!

Peter "Pete" Peterson

"Recruiting is like shaving, if you don't do it everyday, you look like a bum!"  -Jim Tressel