Ohio State didn't have DJ Carton available, but it apparently didn't need him either on Saturday.
Three weeks after losing by 12 points to Indiana, the Buckeyes jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first half of Saturday's rematch, quashed the Hoosiers' attempt to come back early in the second half and proceeded to extended their lead, winning 68-59 at the Schottenstein Center.
With Saturday's victory following Sunday's win against Northwestern, Ohio State has now won back-to-back games in the Big Ten for the first time this season. It hadn't won consecutive games since beating Southeast Missouri State and Kentucky on Dec. 17 and Dec. 21, respectively. Its record improves to 14-7 overall and 4-6 in the conference.
With improved ball movement and noticeably more confidence when shooting, Ohio State spread the ball around on offense early on Saturday, with eight different players hitting the first 10 field goals. It shot 46.4 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc.
Kaleb Wesson scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Unlike the first meeting with Indiana, during which Joey Brunk held him to 3-of-11 from the floor, Wesson got the better of the matchup, hitting 7-of-12 shots.
|26-56 (46%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||19-42 (45%)|
|10-27 (37%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-12 (58%)|
|6-8 (75%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||14-18 (78%)|
CJ Walker, Ohio State's only point guard, had 14 points and four assists in 35 minutes. Justin Ahrens added 11 points off the bench, hitting three 3-pointers, and Andre Wesson dropped 10 points.
Inside, the Buckeyes put in work against an Indiana frontcourt that anchors both the team's offense and defense. They had an 31-24 rebounding edge and 26-20 points-in-the-paint advantage.
Ohio State never led by fewer than 12 points for the final 11 minutes of Saturday's game.
Carton didn't play after announcing his decision to take a temporary leave of absence to improve his mental health on Thursday. Neither he nor the program announced an expected return date for the freshman point guard, who's third on the team with 10.4 points per game.
Next up: Ohio State travels north to take on Michigan in Ann Arbor on Tuesday. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN2.
- Chris Holtmann didn't deviate from his recent starting fives, going with CJ Walker, Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kaleb Wesson to open the game.
- When Walker went to the bench for the first time midway through the first half, Washington took the point guard duties due to the absence of Carton.
- An official timeout was called when Kyle Young got a bloody nose with 10:32 remaining in the first half. He remained spent a couple minutes in the locker room and soon returned to the bench.
- Former Buckeyes Jerry Lucas and Mel Nowell were in attendance. They played on Ohio State's national championship-winning 1960 team. Lucas has his No. 11 jersey hangin in the Schottenstein Center rafters.
- A large group of former Ohio State basketball captains were honored at halftime. They included Bill Hosket, Rick Smith, Ron Stokes, Tony White, Ken Johnson, Terrence Dials, J.J. Sullinger (wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey), Jon Diebler and Joey Lane.