Blowout in The Barn Improves Buckeyes to 24-0

By Chris Lauderback on February 6, 2011 at 4:24p

Ohio State placed all five starters in double figures led by 19 from David Lighty and used 2nd half runs of 11-2 and 10-2 to bury Minnesota 82-69 this afternoon in The Barn.

Jared Sullinger struggled with his touch in the rough and tumble affair but still posted his 11th dub-dub with 18 points and 13 boards, eight of the offensive variety as Ohio State picked up a ridiculous 20 o-boards compared to just six for the Gophers. Sullinger was 8/20 from the floor and 2/8 from the stripe. Meanwhile, fellow big Dallas Lauderdale had his best outing in conference play with 10 points (5/6 FG) and five boards.

Twin Cities had eight of OSU's first 10 points of the 2nd half and six in an 11-2 spurt - all via dunks - that boosted the Ohio State lead to 51-37 with 14:20 to play. The run began with a Dallas alley oop dunk off an out of bounds feed from Wiliam Buford and included another two handed flush after Lauderdale got away with blocking a Rodney Williams dunk attempt by reaching up through the rim at the other end. Finally, Sullinger found Dallas off a double team for another rim rattler to cap Lauderdale's best offensive day since December 12th when he tallied 13 against Western Carolina.

With Minnesota clinging to life trailing 55-44 with 10:09 left, Ohio State delivered the knockout blow in the form of a 10-2 blitz pushing the lead to 65-46 with 6:37 left in regulation. Jon Diebler started the run with a triple followed by a trey from Aaron Craft and four points from Sullinger, three by way of an and-1 off a nice feed from Craft. The Gophers would not get closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

That sequence was pretty much the lone highlight for Craft as he struggled to find rhythm at both ends of the floor. He finished with five points and four dimes but turned it over three times and fouled out in just 21 minutes, the 2nd fewest he's logged all season. Lauderdale's success played somewhat of a factor in Craft's diminished minutes but it defintely wasn't his day.

Diebler finished with 10 points while Buford added 15 (5/12 FG). All five starters had at least three assists apiece. Ohio State's big edge on the offensive glass led to a 36-29 advantage overall and they forced 19 Gopher miscues but Minnesota shot it well hitting 51% on the day. The Buckeyes shot just 45% but attempted an astonishing 71 shots compared to 49 for Minnesota thanks to all those o-boards.

The charity stripe was once again an achilles heel as OSU shot just 10/20 while Minnesota knocked down 14/18.

Jumping out fast similar to Thursday night, Ohio State used a 13-4 run to take a 15-8 lead at 13:28 of the opening half started by two slashing layups from Lighty and capped by two bombs from Diebler. The Gophers answered right back with a with a modest 8-3 surge via two triples from Blake Hoffarber and a horrible-even-for-Ed-Hightower charging call on Sullinger trimming the OSU lead to 18-16 at 10:36 mark.

Countering Minnesota's attack, the Buckeyes ripped off a 10-0 run off five straight points from Buford, a Sully layup off a steal and a deep baseline trey from Lighty making it 28-16 good guys with 8:34 until intermission. The Gophers settled in a bit from there as Ralph Sampson Jr. scored 12 of Minnesota's final 14 points of the half cutting the lead to 38-30 at the half.

Sampson Jr. repeatedly attacked the Buckeyes with jump hooks and short jumpers in the middle of the paint as OSU refused to double team, at times to keep Hoffarber covered on the wing. The lefty sharpshooter still scored 10 of his 16 in the opening 20 minutes but Sampson was held to the donut in the 2nd half - taking just one shot - with a committee assigned to slowing him down including the undersized Lighty on occasion.

The win improves Ohio State to 11-0 in conference play with a trip to the Kohl Center on tap for Saturday. Ohio State has never won in Madison under Thad Matta so all eyes nationally wil be on OSU to see if they can continue their perfect run.


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buckeye33's picture

OK...who's going to state the similarities between both our Football team & Basketball team on their way to Madison.  Both were undefeated & both were number 1 in the country. Matta's Buckeyes have never won at Wisconsin & this will be the biggest game on their schedule.  A win in Madison & we'll blow by Purdue. Go Bucks & keep that season perfect.

NewYorkBUCKEYE's picture

I thought the same thing - as much as I hate to admit it - I love that someone else thought that too

Jeff @ Fox Sports Ohio's picture

If we're making those similarities, I'll gladly point out that after the loss in Wisconsin, the football team did not lose again the rest of the season and postseason.

I would happily take that from the basketball team.

buckeyedude's picture

+1 for Jeff.



Bobcat04's picture

Off topic, but it's beginning to be an absolute travesty that Cris Carter keeps getting passed up for the HOF.  I mean, Marshall Faulk gets in this year, and not CC.  What a joke.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Marshall Faulk is just as deserving as Cris Carter, but Cris Carter deserves to be in the Hall as well.

Conroy's picture

It's a joke that he isn't in the hall yet, but I would never put CC in above Faulk.  I mean, CC was elite, but Faulk is one of the five best running backs of all time.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

And CC is IMO the second best wide receiver of all time. Fault isn't in my top 5 running backs of all time. CC should have been a first ballot hall of famer.

Conroy's picture

Seriosuly?  Better than Randy Moss or Terrll Owens?

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Yes and hell Yes. Randy had better talent but I think Cris was a better overall player. Randy would have failed much sooner had it not been for Carter being a mentor IMO. Randy quits and pouts and causes issues. The Vikings = better without him and the Pats = better without him. Nuff said. I won't deny Randy is a freak of an athlete.
TO? Are you being serious? First of all, the dude drops passes like it is his goal in life and secondly he is an ass and doesn't know the first thing about being apart of a team. Palmer looked like a has been with TO and Ocho in the line-up, subtract those two and Palmer looks like a pro bowler. I won't deny that TO puts up numbers.
Neither Randy or TO have the qualities of someone I would want near my team other than talent. Cris wanted to win (had his issues in the beginning) but seemed to take on a leadership role on that great Vikings offense.
I think Cris slept with a few of the voters wives or something. It is beyond comprehension that this guy wasn't a sure fire first ballot hall of famer. If someone like Irvin can get in after doing cocaine and sleeping with underage prostitutes than Carter should get in. 



William's picture

Barry Sanders, Walter Peyton, Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, Emmit Smith. Top 5 there. No way that Faulk is even close to them. Also it's laughable to even suggest that Moss or Owens are better than Carter was.

DarthSweaterVest's picture

3rd in career receptions, 8th in career yards and 4th in career TD receptions, the ultimate sideline receiver with uncanny footwork and body control, travesty that he is not in the Hall.

btalbert25's picture

Was he a drughead or something?  Did he bet on his own team.  There had to be something about him early in his career that people just can't stand him over.  In the NFL where they have to take 30 people a year into the HOF, you'd think a guy with some of the best stats ever for a receiver would have no problem getting in.  There has to be SOMETHING the writers have on him, otherwise dude is first ballot.

Olentangy's picture

yet another basketball post turned football discussion... this is unreal.

How firm thy friendship

JakeBuckeye's picture

Get over it. Football will always reign over football in Buckeye land and its Super Bowl Sunday at that.

Olentangy's picture

i'm not saying that isn't true. but this team is setting national records. they're heads and shoulders above every other team in the country. they are unquestionably the #1 team in america. ...for Godsakes can someone appreciate this? this doesn't happen very often.

How firm thy friendship

JakeBuckeye's picture

We all appreciate it. That doesn't make football off limits.

btalbert25's picture

Are they really head and shoulers above anyone else in the nation?  Granted they are doing great and are definitely deserving of that Number 1 ranking, but there are other teams not far off.  Pitt is damn good.  Texas is looking really tough.  If Duke gets Irving back for the tourney, they are as good as anyone.  I just don't think there is that much separation between this Buckeye team and some of the other talented squads out there.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I've jacked football threads with basketball talk and I know I'm not the only one.

BuckeyeChief's picture

24-0! Nice job, I watched the game on and off, the refs where very inconsistent...let's keep it going, fellas!

"2014 National with it!!!"

Matthew's picture

Free throw shooting: definately starting to become a big concern.


But as a nice cherry on top of a tough B1G 10 road win, Smith and Sibert got trillions. DUELING TRILLIONS!

Class of 2010

painterlad's picture

I watched the entire game and what I saw was Ohio State play an average game on the road against the  20th ranked team in the country and still win by 13. Sorry Wilbon, but this team will not lose 3 of the next 5 games. It will not lose any.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

If the refs don't call the hacks on Sully and we continue to miss free throws I'm not sure we run the table. Those two things get fixed and I start to think it's more of a possibility.

The_Lurker's picture

At Wisconsin remains a potential pitfall, as does at Purdue (yes, even despite the ease with which they were dispatched in Columbus). Even at Penn State is a possible pothole.

I'm hoping Sully will stop overthinking the free throw thing and get it back together. He was hitting around 75% at one point and was actually in the top 15 in the Big Ten in FT% until the last couple of games. These last couple games have been an anomaly and hopefully it gets corrected.

It was nice to see Dallas bringin' down the thunder in the second half.

BuckiGirl's picture

Craft seems to be increasingly having foul trouble. He's a great defender, just maybe slipping on the discipline or something? I don't get it, but it's really affecting his minutes and I don't like it. I like this team better when Craft is in and he's on.

Thank you Dan Dakich for saying what I've been yelling at the ESPN talking heads for weeks now - we do have a great team in college basketball! If Duke was undefeated, even with some of those wins coming with small margins of victory, I can't imagine them getting the ssame ESPN treatment. I suppose though, I'd rather be treated as underdogs for the duration of the season.

Chris Lauderback's picture

I think its possible Craft is starting to feel a little fatigue and needs his 2nd wind to kick in. I know these kids play tons of AAU ball these days before getting to college but the physical grind of the B1G is hard to prepare for. I think the extended layoff before Wisconsin will do him good.

Totally agree, our best five includes him on the floor however I think Dallas played his best game against Minnesota so it was easier for Thad to leave Craft on the bench especially with Al Nolen hurt. I see that as more of an anomaly than a trend but we'll see, I suppose. 

I also wonder if Sully's recent free throw struggles might be fatigue related. He's getting beat on every night and at some point he has to hit a wall until that 2nd wind kicks in. The six day game layoff for both of those freshmen is perfectly timed, in my opinion. Saturday is going to be a mental/phyiscal grind to say the least.

The_Lurker's picture

What also doesn't help these freshmen and their fatigue factor is the strategy teams are employing of using up all of the shot clock. It takes a lot of work to defend for the entire shot clock, all game long. Sully's recent struggles from the line appear mechanical or mental to me, not fatigue related. He was bonking them off the front of the rim fairly early in the Minny game and he just didn't look right. The one he swished looked like his usual self and that came much later in the game.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Great point about the shot clock usage. Definitely makes sense.

Re: Sully...No doubt he was mechanically busted at The Barn at times  - some where nearly airballs but I can't discount the fatigue. Even mental fatigue could negatively impact his concentration at the line.

RBuck's picture

Sully hasn't been putting any knee action into his FT's lately. Fatigue, either mental or physical can lead to poor mechanics. 

Long live the southend.

Buckeye Scottie's picture

RE: Sully's FT's.  First thing I noticed on every attempt was that he was not staying on the line.  He would release and immediately started to backtrack.  As a result nearly every single one was short.  I was screaming at him to stay on the line.  Fatigue very well could be a factor in that, but really just poor mechancis, as the result of fatigue.  I didn't really pay attention before if he stayed on the line when he was making them, but he was defininely fading away on every attempt at The Barn.

The_Lurker's picture

FWIW, Sully told the Plain Dealer: "I'm thinking too much. I just need to clear my head and shoot free throws."

Just a case of the yips, as far as I'm concerned. If fatigue were a factor at the line, then fatigue would also likely be causing him to turn the ball over more and pick up more fouls. I'm not saying fatigue isn't contributing, but I don't see it as the primary reason for the free throw glitch in the matrix. Only Sully knows for sure, I guess.

BuckiGirl's picture

Your analysis makes sense. And I agree, Lauderdale had a great night and I was really happy for him. Despite always hearing how we lack depth, this team has a great way of finding someone to step up and have a good night. That's definitely one of its strengths.

I also agreed with Dan Dakich that the team's unselfishness is a huge strength. It's nice to see a team that plays so cohesively in so many different situations. 

BuckiGirl's picture

The other thing that really bugs me about Craft not playing much was losing our streak of hearing "valedictorian" and "high school quarterback" every game. We'll have to compensate with Deshaun Thomas being Mr. Basketball - Indiana. That one's becoming the new cool thing to talk about.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Don't forget about Sully's over the shoulder half-court shot that dominated the news last week. I mean, I love Sully as much as anyone but the media's penchant for leaving out the real story - the fact Sully takes like 20 of those shots at least before virtually every home game - kinda takes away from the fact he finally hit one. Seriously, I get to every home game at least an hour before tipoff to set up my laptop, loiter etc and that's when the players are out there just goofing around. He's always trying circus shots during that window.