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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ohio State pulls away from Indiana

Sunday, February 1, 2009

By MICHAEL MAROT

AP Sports Writer

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Ohio State spent the first half trying to figure out how to contend with Indiana's improving shooters.

Finally, the Buckeyes decided to just keep making baskets themselves.

Turns out, it was a good trade.

The Buckeyes shot 76.2 percent in the second half and had four players finish with 17 or more points in a 93-81 victory Saturday, handing the Hoosiers a school record-tying 11th straight loss.

"Who shot that? We did? That's amazing right there," said Evan Turner, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds. "We were just competing and we made shots. We were focused on winning the game, and that's what we did."

The offensive numbers were staggering.

Three times, Indiana fouled Ohio State (15-5, 5-4) on 3-pointers in the second half. Twice the Buckeyes turned them into momentum-changing four-point plays. Jon Diebler, who spent most of the game being hounded by a box-and-one defense, still knocked down five 3s and finished with 21 points. William Buford had 24 and Jeremie Simmons finished with 17 points and eight assists. That quartet combined to make 29-of-42 field goals.

Indiana's numbers -- the good and bad -- were also amazing.

Freshman Matt Roth scored a season-high 29 points, connecting on 9-of-11 3s to tie Roderick Wilmont's single-game school record set Feb. 28, 2007 against Northwestern. It was the most 3-pointers ever by a Big Ten freshman.

"My teammates did a great job, and the offenses we instilled were really good against their zone," Roth said. "I think your confidence grows and the confidence in your team grows."

He had help, too. Devan Dumes made three 3s and finished with 13 points, while Nick Williams added 11 points. It was Indiana's highest point total since a victory over Chaminade on Nov. 26, and the Hoosiers (5-15, 0-8) were 15-of-28 from 3-point range.

But Indiana also allowed a season-high point total, putting its losing streak in the record books: Indiana's 11 straight losses ties the school record set in 1943-44. And, clearly, this one hurt.

Coach Tom Crean spent more than 45 minutes talking to his team before taking questions from reporters and showed more emotion on the sidelines -- and more discretion in choosing his postgame words -- than he has all season. Ohio State shot 12 more free throws than Indiana in the second half and several times on the court, Crean showed his frustration. Several times, Crean asked the scorer's table to show him a replay as if he wanted to challenge the call and another time he pounded the table.

"I had a referee tell me tonight, this is not my first rodeo," Crean said. "Well, it's not mine either. I'll never miss a game, I'll never have money taken from me and I'll never have money taken from Indiana. So I'm really not going to comment on that (officiating). But it's not my first time, either, and there's times out there that it feels like it."

At least Crean had the fans on his side.

During the second half, the crowd was instructed not to whistle and later not to throw objects onto the floor. Then increasingly impatient students chanted "Throw A Chair" and finally made an obscene chant toward the officials in the closing minutes.

Despite all that, Indiana's bigger problems were playing defense and taking care of the basketball.

"We moved the ball and played hard, but we obviously didn't do enough defensively in the second half," Crean said. "I told them we're not going to beat a team when they shoot like that."

After trailing most of the first half, by as much as 24-12, the Buckeyes rallied to close the gap to 39-37 at the half. They dominated the second half with their incredible shooting.

Diebler drew a foul on a 3-pointer and the first four-point play finally gave Ohio State a 48-47 lead with 17:16 to go. Indiana tied it at 52 on Verdell Jones' 3, then took a 54-52 lead on Malik Story's layup with 13:57 remaining.

But with Indiana in foul trouble, Ohio State rolled.

The Buckeyes regained the lead on Simmons' four-point play, then made it 59-54 when Diebler hit his fourth 3 of the game off a fast break with 12:15 to go.

The Hoosiers got as close as 64-62, but the Buckeyes ran off nine straight points and Indiana never got close enough to challenge again.

"We obviously made shots, and finally there in the second half we had a stretch where we played an ounce of defense," coach Thad Matta said. "We were perfectly happy to be trading baskets with them, and we've had some games like that. But we can't win basketball games like that very often."



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