The game got scary early for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Less than five minutes into the contest, Evan Turner was whistled for his second foul. He knew what that meant, and frustratedly walked over to the Buckeye bench and personally grabbed P.J. Hill and basically subbed himself out of the game without Thad Matta’s intervention. The Buckeyes had a 4-0 lead at the time, but I am sure there were some nervous people both in Indiana and watching on the Big Ten Network at home. Lucky for the Buckeyes, William Buford, David Lighty, Jon Diebler and company were ready to pick up the slack with Turner on the bench.
The Buckeyes were moving the ball well on offense and diving to the bucket for layups and dunks whenever they say even a tiny bit of daylight from the Indiana defense. The Buckeyes ended up running away with the game against the over-matched Indiana Hoosiers. William Buford scored a game high 21 for the Buckeyes while Lauderdale added 14 and Evan Turner scored 10 in only 21 minutes (3 in the first half.) Kyle Madsen was very productive off the bench scoring 11 points in 9 minutes of time.
Much of the game was won either by great defense by the Buckeyes or just bad shooting by the Hoosiers. Probably a nice combination of both. The Buckeyes held the Hoosiers to 37% shooting. As a team the Buckeyes also accounted for 4 steals and 9 blocks with Dallas Lauderdale scoring a gaudy 7 rejections all by himself. Those long arms will eventually give him an opportunity to play the backup 4 in the NBA. He isn’t a lock to make it, but someone will definitely be intrigued by his potential.
These were two teams going in opposite directions. For the Hoosiers this was a 5th straight Big Ten loss. For the Buckeyes it was an 8th straight Big Ten win. The Buckeyes now have the same record as Big Ten leader Michigan State and Illinois at the top of the division rankings. The Buckeyes are now ranked 16th in the nation as well. Things don’t get easy for the Buckeyes as they have a big matchup on Valentine’s day against Illinois in Champaign.