Ohio State just continues to steamroll college basketball's deepest conference.
Indiana tried to hang around on Saturday. The unranked Hoosiers did their best to keep it close at the Schottenstein Center, chopping the deficit down to just five points with 14:11 remaining. But that was as close as it got.
|#4 OHIO STATE||38||40||78|
Closing out its ninth win in the past 10 games, the fourth-ranked Buckeyes secured a 78-59 victory in their only matchup with Indiana of the regular season. Sitting at third place in the Big Ten standings, they improved to 17-4 overall and 11-4 within the Big Ten, having now won their past six games. Indiana fell to 11-9 overall.
Ohio State turned a five-point game into a 23-point lead with a 22-4 run in the middle of the second half, spanning seven minutes during which Indiana managed to make just one shot from the field. Seven different Buckeyes scored during that stretch.
E.J. Liddell led scorers on the winning team with 19 points, and Justice Sueing scored 16 to go along with 10 rebounds. Duane Washington Jr. added 12 points. CJ Walker had 1- points. They helped Ohio State to shoot 48.2 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from 3-point range.
Trayce Jackson-Davis managed 23 points, but only five of his teammates scored, and none of them had more than Jerome Hunter's 10 points. Indiana turned it over 14 times, leading to 21 Ohio State points.
|27-56 (48.2%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||21-50 (42.0%)|
|7-16 (43.8%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||5-15 (33.3%)|
|17-19 (86.7%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||12-22 (54.5%)|
Ohio State began Saturday's game with a potential blowout seemingly on its mind.
Back-to-back 3s from Al Durham and Armaan Franklin gave Indiana a 6-2 lead off the jump, but the Buckeyes proceeded to go on a 19-0 run over a stretch spanning more than seven minutes to take them into the latter portion of the first half with a 21-6 edge. Eight points from E.J. Liddell helped Ohio State go off, and so did a stretch of some of the best defense the team has played all season. The Hoosiers committed six turnover between their sixth and seventh points of the game.
Ohio State extended its led to 31-15 with 5:21 remaining in the first half before its offense went cold. Indiana proceeded to go on an 11-0 run over three and a half minutes, finally getting consistent offensive production while stifling the home team. Archie Miller's team chopped the deficit to five points. The Buckeyes managed to clamp down and end the half on a 7-2 spurt to avoid a catastrophe, entering the locker room at the break leading, 38-28.
Liddell's 14 points and Duane Washington Jr.'s 10 points put the Buckeyes on top after the first half. The Hoosiers got nine points each from Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jerome Hunter in the opening 20 minutes.
Next up: The Buckeyes hit the road to take on Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania, on Thursday. It'll tip off at 8 p.m. on Big Ten Network.
- Chris Holtmann stuck with the same starting five he has used since CJ Walker and Jimmy Sotos both went down with injuries early in January: Duane Washington Jr., Justin Ahrens, Justice Sueing, E.J. Liddell, Kyle Young. Walker continues to come off the bench.
- Sotos and Ibrahima Diallo were the two unavailable players for the Buckeyes. Sotos is out for the season after having surgery on a separated shoulder. Diallo's still out as he recovers from a sprained MCL.
- Holtmann now has a 6-1 record versus Archie Miller's Indiana team as Ohio State's head coach. The Hoosiers led the all-time series, 106-82.
- Before Saturday, only six Ohio State players had ever played a game against Indiana, with Walker leading the team with 10.5 points per game versus the Hoosiers.