After what’s been an unimpressive start to Big Ten play, Ohio State finally notched the signature win that’s eluded them this season.
The Buckeyes overwhelmed Indiana, 82-70, Sunday afternoon at the Schottenstein Center in what’s the start of a critical stretch to find their conference footing before February.
In front of a once-tepid crowd invigorated by a comprehensive performance, Ohio State (16-5, 5-3 Big Ten) was powered by good shooting and a pair of freshmen playmakers.
D’Angelo Russell, who's has become the team's go-to scorer, scored 22 points, claimed six rebounds and had 10 assists. His sidekick, Jae'Sean Tate, a scrappy forward recently inserted to the starting lineup, scored a career-high of 20 points. He made nine of his 10 shots.
Like the team’s win against Northwestern earlier this week, as the star freshman guard goes, so go the Buckeyes, which have lacked consistency so far this season.
|33-53 (62.3)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||26-50 (52)|
|5-15 (33.3)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||12-25 (48)|
|11-14 (78.6)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||6-8 (75)|
While Thad Matta has lamented his team’s molasses-slow starts as if he were a broken record, Ohio State fell behind by as many as eight points in the game’s first five minutes.
Yet behind Russell, who scored 16 of his points in the first half, ignited a surge that seized the game’s momentum back. The Buckeyes trotted into halftime up, 38-32.
The Hoosiers, which obliterated Maryland by 19 points earlier this week, were buoyed by 11 3-pointers, but they turned the ball over 15 times. It ultimately doomed them.
Ohio State plays the Terrapins Thursday night in Columbus.