Late Free Throws Cap Hoosier Comeback

BLOOMINGTON-Marshall Strickland knew what was coming. With Indiana and Ohio State tied 79-79 with :08.9 seconds on the clock, Strickland's job on IU's potential game-winning play was to set a cross screen to free up Marco Killingsworth...

BLOOMINGTON-Marshall Strickland knew what was coming.

With Indiana and Ohio State tied 79-79 with :08.9 seconds on the clock, Strickland's job on IU's potential game-winning play was to set a cross screen to free up Marco Killingsworth on the block, and he knew 6-9, 260-pound Ohio State center Terence Dials was the target.

"I set a screen earlier in the game and he just plowed right over me," said Strickland. "I knew he was coming over me, and if he hit me, I'm going down and getting to the free throw line."

That's exactly what happened. Strickland drew the fifth foul on Dials with :05.7 remaining, and knocked down both free throws to put Indiana up two. On the ensuing play, the Hoosiers' senior guard stole the ball from Ohio State's Matt Terwilliger as the clock expired, giving No. 15 Indiana an 81-79 win over No. 18 Ohio State in front of 17,278 at IU's Assembly Hall.

"It's a great feeling," said Strickland, who had 15 points and was one of five Hoosiers in double figures. "As a senior, I look to myself to make those plays at the end of the game. I knew it was going to come down to a couple of rebounds, a couple of defensive stops, and I just wanted to be in the mix."

Indiana improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in the league, while Ohio State dropped its first game of the season and stands at 11-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten.

While Strickland was the one who eventually sent Dials to the bench with his fifth foul, everyone in the arena thought Killingsworth had done that six minutes earlier. With Indiana leading 71-70 at the 5:47 mark, Killingsworth caught the ball in the post and drew contact from Dials on his way up. Official Donnee Gray's whistle blew, but he instead called the foul on Matt Sylvester.

Television replays showed it was Dials and not Sylvester who made contact with Killingsworth, but the official's call gave Dials and the Buckeyes new life. Dials responded by scoring all nine of Ohio State's points in the final 5:47, including three go-ahead baskets during the stretch. Dials finished with a team-high 25 points and eight rebounds.

"I thought he fouled out, and I turned around and he took it off, I said that's the way it is," said Killingsworth, who led Indiana with 26 points, four blocks, and some clutch 7-of-9 free throw shooting. "When you're a big time player you get some calls."

While Dials might have gotten that call, Ohio State Coach Thad Matta didn't necessarily think his team was the beneficiary of most of the officials' calls. Ohio State was whistled for 26 fouls compared to Indiana's 17, and by the game's conclusion OSU had lost two players to fouls (Dials and Sylvester) and had another two limited due to four fouls, including small forward J.J. Sullinger.

"Foul trouble crushed us," said Matta. "We're not a team that fouls a lot, and we picked up 26 fouls."

Early on, it didn't appear that Ohio State's fouls would matter, nor that Strickland or anyone on the Indiana roster would have any chance for any late-game heroics. Ohio State jumped to a 7-0 lead early and then extended it to 17, 38-21, with 3:54 in the first half. But an 11-2 Indiana run to close the first half cut the margin to eight, 40-32.

Indiana erased the rest of the deficit in the opening three minutes of the second half. Robert Vaden hit a 3-pointer on the half's opening possession to cut the margin to five. Strickland then hit a pair of 3-pointers as Indiana inched within three, 44-41, and Killingsworth added a layup and a conventional three-point play to give Indiana its first lead, 46-45, with 17:11 remaining.

One player who played a big part in second half turnaround was senior Lewis Monroe, who assisted on each of the 3-pointers to open the half. He'd eventually get involved in the scoring as well, contributing 11 second half points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Ohio State was sagging off Indiana's point guard throughout, and IU Coach Mike Davis told him at halftime he needed to be more aggressive offensively.

"I thought Lewis Monroe had best game," said Davis. "That's the Lewis Monroe we expect to see every game…tonight he did a great job in second half of pushing the ball in transition, going inside.

"No one knows how good Lewis is but us, he hasn't shown it. I talked to him at halftime about being a man, step up and make some plays."

Monroe did just that, and Indiana wound up posting its biggest come-from-behind win since it overcame a 17-point deficit in the Hoosiers win over No. 1 Duke in the 2002 Sweet 16.

INDIANA 81
White 2-5 2-5 6, Killingsworth 9-14 7-9 26, Strickland 4-7 4-4 15, Vaden 3-5 2-2 10, Monroe 3-7 3-4 11, Wilmont 4-9 1-3 11, Suhr 0-0 0-0 0, Ratliff 0-2 2-2 2, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Calloway 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-51 21-29 81.

OHIO STATE 79
Sylvester 3-9 1-1 9, Dials 9-14 7-10 25, Sullinger 3-4 0-0 7, Butler 3-7 1-2 7, Foster 4-9 2-2 13, Harris 1-2 0-0 2, Lewis 4-9 3-4 13, Mayes 1-6 0-0 3, Terwilliger 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 28-61 14-21 79.

Halftime Score: Ohio State 40, Indiana 32. 3-Pointers: Indiana 10-21 (Killingsworth 1-1, Strickland 3-4, Vaden 2-4, Monroe 2-3, Wilmont 2-7, Ratliff 0-1, Calloway 0-1), Ohio State 9-25 (Sylvester 2-4, Dials 0-1, Sullinger 1-2, Butler 0-3, Foster 3-6, Harris 0-1, Lewis 2-5, Mayes 1-3). Rebounds: Indiana 30 (White 7), Ohio State 36 (Dials 8). Assists: Indiana 14 (Monroe 6), Ohio State 13 (Foster 6). Turnovers: Indiana 13 (Killingsworth 4), Ohio State 12 (Lewis 3, Sullinger 3). Blocks: Indiana 5 (Killingsworth 4, Wilmont 1), Ohio State 2 (Sylvester 1, Dials 1). Officials: Donnee Gray, Sid Rodeheffer, Dan Chrisman. Attendance: 17,278.

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