Buckeyes Ride The WB to a Win over Sparty

By Corey Carpenter on February 16, 2011 at 2:00a
The WB has 44 over the last 2 games.

In front of an energetic sell-out crowd (3rd of the season), the Buckeyes bounced back from their defeat in Madison on Saturday with a 71-61 victory over Michigan State Tuesday night. The Spartans have now won just 2 of their last 8 games to continue their dissappointing season, while the Buckeyes took step one of potentailly reclaiming the top spot in the nation after Kansas's loss last night.

In what can only be described as a rough and physical affair with three blind mice in zebra print, Ohio State overcame Sparty's 44 points in the paint by converting 23 points off of MSU's 19 turnovers and connecting on 23 of 29 FT attempts, compared to just 5 of 6 for Izzo's squad.

The Buckeyes put four players in double figures, lead by William Buford's 23 (his highest since 12/31 at Indiana), while Sparty was lead by Kalin Lucas's 14, as he looked to be back to old form in terms of his quickness.

The first half gave us 13 lead changes and seven ties, with no team building a lead of more than four points, as Michigan State shot 62.5% (15/24) and OSU connected on 44.4% (12/27), but made eight FTs compared to three for Sparty to take a 35-34 lead into the locker room. Michigan State took a page out of Whisky's playbook, effectively using their moving ball screens at the top of the key, leading to easy buckets in the paint, as Ohiio State contined to struggle with the hedge and recovery portion of their defense. Word is out that if you use an effective ball screen on Aaron Craft with Sullinger's guy, the chances of scoring an easy basket increases. I'm sure this will be a point of emphasis for Thad heading into Purdue this Sunday.

OSU was paced by Buford's 14 on 5/8 shooting and 4 boards, while Diebler chipped in with 7 and Lighty with 5. Jared Sullinger picked up his second foul with 7:41 remaining and finished the half with 4 points and just 1 rebound. MSU took advantage of Sully's absence in the paint, as Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix combined for 15 points on 6/7 shooting and Lucas contributed 6 points and 3 assists. But Dallas Lauderdale was key finishing the half, playing with 2 fouls for the final 5:50, but scored 4 straight at one point and held MSU's big men scoreless over that span.

The second half started much the same, with Lucas scoring 4 of their first 8 points and assisting on another bucket, as MSU took their last lead at 44-42 with 15:15 to play. Then Ohio State's scoring talent took over and they clamped down on defense, outscoring the Spartans 29-17 the rest of the way. David Lighty got it going with a sweet baseline drive for the hoop and harm, which was MSU's 4th team foul with 14:45 remaining. Delvon Roe would commit an offensive foul a few seconds later and after a blown basket interference call by the refs, William Buford stole the rock for a fast break layup and crowd ignitor to make it 47-44. Then at the 13:08 mark, MSU would commit their 7th team foul, as Diebler was fouled following up Craft's missed layup after another steal. This was a key moment because OSU only had 2 team fouls at this point and the Bucks would go on to attempt 16 FT's to finish the game, including their last 11 points. 

MSU would bring it to 53-51 after Lucas once again used the high ball screen for an easy layup and Draymond Green hit a crazy fade away three with 2 seconds left on the shot clock. Ohio State then went on a mini 8-2 run over the next 4 minutes, with Buford scoring 5 straight and Aaron Craft out hustling MSU to grab an errant pass for the steal, hoop and harm. That would be Ohio State's last bucket. The Spartans got it to 61-57 with 4:38 left, but OSU would hit 10 of their final 12 FT's, while MSU missed five straight shots over that span to allow the Bucks a 10-2 run to close it out.

Jon Diebler finished the night with 12 points on 2/7 from deep and 6/6 from the line. The 2 three-balls puts him just one away from tying the career B1G mark. Lighty also had 12 points on 4/9 shooting, along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Sullinger had a quiet game, as the Spartans roughed him up and held him to 3/8 shooting with just 2 rebounds, but he may have solved his charity stripe woes, making 5/6. Craft had a tough night shooting, connecting on 1/7, but he hit 5/7 from the line for 7 points, 4 assists, 4 steals and 3 boards.

Draymond Green helped Lucas with 10 points and 6 boards, but picked up a critical technical foul with 1:42 left for telling the officials what most of us wanted to and Adreian Payne also finished with 10. Delvon Roe was a non factor scoring 0 points in 8 minutes, while Mike Kebler had 8 and Derrick Nix had 7.

For the game, Ohio State made 21/49 shots, good for 43 percent, while MSU hit 27/47 for 57.4% and outrebounded the Bucks 30-22. But as it has been all season, the Spartans hurt themselves with the aforementioned 19 miscues, against just 7 for OSU, who also had 9 steals.

The win keeps OSU undefeated at home this season and sets up their rematch with Purdue this Sunday at 1:00 on CBS. A win there probably moves them back into the top spot. 



Comments Show All Comments

Blake's picture

That steal and layup for the and-1, that was a crafty play wasn't it?

Blake's picture

Or perhaps the pass was just so aaront that anyone could've scored in that situation.

dmurder's picture

The layup where craft got blocked after the steal.

I thought for sure we would see a behind the back bass to deibler.

Either, way craft is extremely talented, and relentless defender. What is funny is Josh Shelby, and Craft could be playin for Tenn. That would have been huge pick up for bruce pearl.

Instead, both of these kids are going to be playing for a number one seed.

funny how things work.

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

The_Lurker's picture

I know, I was waiting for the Air Diebler slam off the no-look pass from Craft, but it never came and we almost screwed up the break.

slippy's picture

This is the sort of game that makes me excited about this team.  Honestly, we played like crap.  WB had 2 great stretches but other than that no one played up to what they can play.


Why was Sully fronting his guy in the post with no help?  Was this his choice or was this coaching?


Offense has looked lost the past few games.  Diebler has done nothing and Lighty is the most frustrating player on the court sometimes (I remember two pull up 3's last night with a man right on him.  He's the last guard on the team I want shooting a 3).  Where has Thomas been?  Team needs a spark offensively.  I don't understand why he doesn't get more PT in the close games.  I understand if Thad wants to protect against freshmen mistakes, but when you have 2 seniors out there that aren't contributing...is that any better?


And please, don't try to argue me about Lighty's defense.  He's gotten burned the past few weeks plenty of times.


Also, how do you get to college ball without knowing how to box out (I'm looking at you, entire team)?

Olentangy's picture

sully was fronting hard and seemed like he was expecting backside help- msu did a great job of emptying out the weakside wing for their entry passes which left him out to dry.

and i wouldn't say diebs+lighty aren't "contributing." lighty night in and night out is playing guys much bigger than he is and contributes in more ways than just scoring points and looking pretty. i reckon if you were giving up 5 inches and 30-40lbs that you might 'get burned' from time to time as well. and if you watch the team closely, one of the main reasons the paint and the driving lanes remain open is bc diebs defender never leaves him- teams can sag off of deshaun and provide a lot more help D. don't get caught up in the "if he's not scoring, he sucks and needs to be taken out of the game" crap that infects roughly 80% of the schottenstein.

How firm thy friendship

yrro's picture

Not to mention that for the season D-Light is >40% from three. May not be quite as good as Buford or Diebs, but he's not a liability from that range.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Diebs defense is much, much better and has caused turnovers and steals.  He has hit some clutch shots for us and done some other things to help contribute.  His presense along helps to get Sully open.  To me this is one of Diebs best all around years.

slippy's picture

When I mean 'get burned' i mean that.  Not backed down by a guy twice his size.  I'm talking about a guard from NW backdooring him because he's not paying attention.  I'm talking about his guy being wide open from 3 because he got lost or double teamed for no reason.   Part of Wisconsin's run was because Lighty was giving help before help was needed and guy's were wide open.

I understand you don't have to score to contribute.  Dieb's defender is usually their worst, because all he has to do is run around and not give him an open 3.  Not that hard.  Dieb's defense has gotten better, but mistakes are still made.  And driving lanes open?  We haven't had much driving the past few games.

ALso, for the guy that said Lighty is >40%...I don't care that he went 7/10 against Asheville.  In Big 10 play he's shooting 36%.  In his last 7 games he's shooting 3/18 from three.  That is a liability and a turnover.  If he's wide open, fine.  But he's not a long range pop jump-shooter.

RBuck's picture

I dug the "Kansas lost?" sign last night. Looking forward to the "Deal with it" sign and chant on 3/6.

Long live the southend.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I missed the "Kansas lost?" sign.  That's funny.  I enjoy the big heads.  The smurf was a nice touch.  I just don't want to sit behind them.

Cross Village's picture

Will Buford is the late season MVP....

He continues to grow as a player becoming a very good defensive presence and as a person as he seems to be the rudder when seas become choppy.

The WB is 1st Team All Big Ten...... regardless of how the dopes in the press vote.

Gotta love him.