MILWAUKEE—Ohio State junior Jon Diebler hit seven three-pointers and scored 23 points leading the Buckeyes to a 68-51 victory over the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in opening round NCAA tournament action on Friday night.
Diebler, who had just been coming off a case of the flu, set a season-high in three pointers made.
"One thing I thought was that first four minute warm up be kind of rough just getting back on the court, said Diebler. "But once you get in the flow of the game, I mean, the NCAA Tournament your adrenaline is going to take over."
It was a welcome contribution for the Buckeyes as star player Evan Turner scored just nine points on 2-of-13 shooting. The junior also had four turnovers and seemed to be bothered by the pesky Gaucho defenders.
Ohio State also got a major contribution from center Dallas Lauderdale who a solid presence on the inside with 12 rebounds and 8 blocks.
The Buckeyes were able to jump out to a 13-3 lead early but the Gauchos fought back to make it a one point game at 14-13 with 8:11 remaining in the first half. OSU went on a 16-4 run to close the half.
After halftime, the Gauchos got as close as eight but were never able to make a game out of it.
Orlando Johnson led UCSB with 20 points. Reserve guard James Powell was the only other Gaucho in double figures with 11 points.
Ohio State will return to the Bradley Center court on Sunday when they face No. 10 seed Georgia Tech.
Diebler's shooting lifts OSU over UCSB
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