IU hangs on to beat Ohio State, 69-66

James Blackmon Jr. scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half and Indiana hung out at the free throw line to beat Ohio State 69-66 at Assembly Hall.

James Blackmon Jr.’s Big Ten struggles continued Saturday afternoon when he was limited to just two points in the first half against Ohio State.

But it was the fact that Blackmon was able to erupt in the second half that was a big reason why Indiana bounced back from a loss to Michigan State earlier in the week.

Blackmon Jr. scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half and Indiana made its final nine free throw attempts in a 69-66 victory over No. 22 Ohio State Saturday in IU’s Big Ten home opener at Assembly Hall.

In the last four years, Indiana is now 14-3 against ranked teams in Assembly Hall.

Indiana (12-4, 2-1) built up a 10-point lead at 61-51 with 3:32 to play on a drive and free throw by Blackmon Jr. Blackmon flexed his muscles after the basket went in and it looked like IU was on its way to the win.

But Ohio State (13-4, 2-2) kept fighting back. In fact, with 32.1 seconds to play Sam Thompson rebounded a missed shot and scored and was fouled by Hanner Mosquera-Perea to cut the IU lead to one at 65-64. But Thompson missed the free throw to tie.

Yogi Ferrell then hit two free throws with 21.9 seconds to play and two more with 5.9 seconds remaining. The second pair put the Hoosiers on top 69-66.

Ohio State, without a timeout, pushed the ball down court and D’Angelo Russell attempted a 3-pointer from the right wing nearly at the buzzer that caromed long and was rebounded by Collin Hartman.

At the final media timeout with 3:37 to play, IU was 12-of-19 from the free throw line. From that point on, the Hoosiers made their final nine free throws – five by Blackmon and four by Ferrell.

Troy Williams had 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for his second career double-double. The other one came last month when he had 22 points and 11 rebounds against Butler.

Indiana had a 48-39 edge on the boards, and limited Ohio State to 34 percent shooting from the field. Ohio State came into the game ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten shooting the ball at 52 percent.

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