MILWAUKEE—Evan Turner scored 24 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out 9 assists to lead the Ohio State to a 75-66 victory over Georgia Tech earning the Buckeyes a spot in the Sweet 16.
The Buckeyes led by just two at the break, at 28-26 but were able to pull ahead of the Yellow Jackets with an 18-6 run to begin the second half.
"We came in at halftime and talked about trying to get on a run there in the first four minutes, and these guys did a great job with it, said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. "I thought we did a pretty decent job making free throws down the stretch, meeting the passes, and taking care of the ball. As I told these guys, we got what we came for, [now we're moving] on to St. Louis."
The difference in the second half for the Buckeyes was the play of the supporting cast. Jon Dieber scored 17 of his 20 points after the break and OSU shot 64 percent as a team after intermission. David Lighty aided in the effort with 18 points and was one of just five Buckeyes to score in the game.
"I think just being ready for the basketball and using my legs more," said Diebler. "Coach Matta is just telling me to get more lift on my shot."
Georgia Tech found themselves in a quick hole after the break due to some costly turnovers. The problem's then compounded when they tried to press but left Diebler open on the perimeter.
The Yellow Jackets did make a run at the Buckeyes late in the second half, cutting the lead to four with 1:47 remaining in the game. However, Ohio State was able to capitalize at the free throw line to put Georgia Tech away for good.
In the first half, Georgia Tech raced out to a 10-2 lead but 13 first half turnovers prevented them from building up a larger advantage over the No. 3 seeded Buckeyes.
It was Turner who carried the Buckeyes with 16 points before intermission. Turner shot 8-of-19 from the field for the game and added three steals to his impressive stat line. He did, however commit 9 turnovers.
Gani Lawal scored 11 points to lead Georgia Tech. Glenn Rice Jr. and Derrick Favors added 10 in defeat.
With the win, the Buckeyes move on to face the No. 6 seed Tennessee Volunteers in the Sweet 16. The game will be played on Friday in St. Louis, Mo.
Turner's near triple double powers OSU in win
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