Instacap: Second-Half Run Helps Lift Ohio State Past Minnesota, 78-63

By Tim Shoemaker on December 30, 2015 at 8:59 pm

It's been said many times before basketball is a game of runs. That theory was quite apparent for Ohio State on Wednesday night.

Sparked by a 23-5 run in the second half, the Buckeyes pulled away from Minnesota in each team's Big Ten opener. Ohio State turned a three-point halftime lead into a 78-63 victory.

  1 2 F
MINNESOTA 34 29 63
OHIO STATE 37 41 78

Six different players scored for the Buckeyes in that stretch as the run was capped by a 3-pointer from Marc Loving with six minutes to play in the game.

Loving led the way for Ohio State with a team-high 20 points. Keita Bates-Diop finished with 13 points, while Jae'Sean Tate added 10 and Daniel Giddens finished with nine. Freshman point guard JaQuan Lyle dished out a career-high 13 assists.

Ohio State couldn't have asked for a better start in this game, scoring the first 11 points.

The Buckeyes led by as many as 15 points in the opening half after a Mickey Mitchell layup gave them a 26-11 lead. From there, though, the Gophers made two separate runs to get back into the game. Minnesota rattled off nine-straight points to get within 26-20 and then closed the first half on a 10-1 spurt to trim Ohio State's halftime lead to just three at 37-34.

Loving led the way with 10 first-half points while Tate had eight and Bates-Diop and Daniel Giddens each scored seven. Lyle had seven first-half assists.

After a hot start, Ohio State finished the first half shooting just 41 percent from the field with eight turnovers.

The Buckeyes will next be in action Sunday when they host Illinois at 5 p.m.

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