OSU Overcomes Pesky Hoosiers In Bloomington

Ohio State grabbed an important Big Ten road victory Saturday afternoon with a 93-81 victory at Indiana. Sophomore Evan Turner led for Buckeyes in double figures with a career-high 29 points as OSU wiped out an early 12-point deficit and overcame a record-tying three-point performance by IU freshman Matt Roth.

Despite the best efforts of Indiana freshman guard Matt Roth, who rained three-point shots from the deepest regions of Assembly Hall, Ohio State was able to wear down the Hoosiers in the second half and secured a 93-81 Big Ten victory.

The sellout crowd of 17,202 was whipped into a frenzy as Roth put on a shooting display, knocking down 9 of 11 three-point shots and singlehandedly keeping his team in the game. His 29 points were a career-high and the nine long balls equaled a school record set in February 2007 by Roy Wilmont at Northwestern.

Roth couldn't do it alone, however, and career-best performances were not limited to the Hoosiers. Ohio State sophomore Evan Turner and freshmen William Buford and Jeremie Simmons each turned in personal-best scoring tallies. Turner tied Roth for the game scoring honors with 29 points, while Buford had 24 and Simmons added 17 to go along with eight assists.

OSU sophomore Jon Diebler added another 21 points, connecting on 5 of his 7 three-point attempts.

The final score was hardly indicative of most of the game which featured more twists and turns than a corkscrew. The contest was tied nine different times and there were 11 lead changes until the Buckeyes (15-5, 5-4 in the Big Ten) finally got some breathing room down the stretch.

After the Hoosiers had closed to a single point at 61-60 off a three-pointer from Devan Dumes with 11:28 left to go in the game, OSU went on a 12-2 run over the next 4½ minutes to take a commanding 73-62 lead.

Indiana (5-15, 0-8) got no closer than eight points the rest of way, making it 73-65 at the 6:22 mark when Roth buried a three from nearly 30 feet. But Ohio State closed things out on a 20-16 run.

Most of the first 30 minutes of the game was marked by back-and-forth runs by the teams. Roth canned a three-pointer at the 9:32 mark of the first half to cap a 13-0 run by the Hoosiers and give them a 24-12 lead. The Buckeyes responded by scoring 18 of the game's next 22 points, capping the spurt with a bucket from Turner to give OSU a 30-28 advantage with 3:48 remaining until the half.

IU came right back with an 8-0 run with Roth canning another three ball to make it 36-30 in favor of the Hoosiers at the 2:00 mark.

The Buckeyes managed to claw back within two at 39-37 at the break, and then put together a 10-2 spurt early in the second half to turn a 47-42 deficit into a 52-49 lead with 15:19 left in the game. That run ended with a pair of free throws from Simmons, who drew a fourth foul on Indiana forward Tom Pritchard.

IU head coach Tom Crean was forced to sit Pritchard, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the Hoosiers' first meeting with Ohio State this year. By the time the 6-9, 242-pound freshman returned to the floor nearly eight minutes later, the Buckeyes had stretched their lead to nine points at 71-62 and they never looked back.

Both team shot lights out in the game. Thanks in part to Roth's performance, the Hoosiers made 15 of 28 three-point attempts, good for 53.6 percent. It was by far their best performance of the season behind the arc – they entered the game as the worst three-point shooting team in the Big Ten, making only 102 of their previous 318 attempts for 32.1 percent.

For the game, Indiana was 27 for 57 from the floor for 47.4 percent.

Roth continued a personal hot streak. The performance against OSU gave him 16 three-pointers in his last 23 attempts over a four-game stretch. That's a dizzying 69.6 percentage for a player who was held scoreless when the Buckeyes cruised to a 77-53 win over IU at Value City Arena in mid-January.

Ohio State was also burning up the Assembly Hall nets, going 29 for 46 on its field goals and hitting a conference season-high 63.0 percent. The Buckeyes were also hot from three-point territory, making 10 of 17 attempts for 58.8 percent.

OSU was also uncharacteristically accurate at the free-throw line. They made 18 attempts in a row at one juncture and finished 25 for 30, a percentage of 83.3.

The Buckeyes return home Feb. 3 to host Purdue. The Boilermakers are 6-2 in the Big Ten, alone in second place and just one game behind league-leading Michigan State.

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