After slipping up at Illinois earlier in the week, Indiana Hoosiers once again looked like the No. 1-ranked team in the county on Sunday. It came at the expense of Thad Matta and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Junior Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 26 points, sophomore Cody Zeller chipped in with 24 points and 8 rebounds and the Hoosiers proved to be too much for No. 10 Ohio State in an 81-68 victory at Value City Arena.
Indiana native Deshaun Thomas scored 26 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to keep the Ohio State Buckeyes in the game as long as possible. Ohio State’s one-man attack couldn’t overcome Indiana’s triple-option attack of Oladipo, Zeller and Christian Watford, who added 20 points in a critical bounce-back win for Indiana coach Tom Crean and the Hoosiers (21-3, 9-2 Big 10).
Ohio State (17-6, 7-4) hung around for most of the 1st half, despite not having an answer for Zeller in the paint.
The Ohio State got little-to-no offense from any person but Thomas. Point guard Aaron Craft scored 16 points and LaQuinton Ross added 11 off the bench, but Ohio State was just 3 of 13 behind the arc.
They Buckeyes fell behind 11-4 in the early going after Sam Thompson missed an alley-oop dunk that lead to a run-out layup for Indiana. But Ohio State would respond with a fury.
Thomas knocked down a completely open 3 in the corner, Craft scored a layup and Thomas drained another 3, this time with a hand in his face, to give Ohio State a 13-11 lead with 11:35 to play 1st half. NFL odds
Thomas turned and howled toward Indiana’s bench at the end of Ohio State’s 9-0 run, but Indiana would speedily go back on the offensive. It started with a Watford Three, but Oladipo was the difference-maker for the Hoosiers in the first half.
Known for his defensive ability, the Maryland native led all scorers with 14 points in the 1st half. He was 5 of 7 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line as Indiana went on an 18-10 run that turned an one-point delinquency into a 6-point lead on another 3 by Watford.
Oladipo and Zeller would score the final 12 points of the half for Indiana, as the Hoosiers took a 41-33 halftime lead.
The Buckeyes came out with good energy early in the 2nd half, but they simply could not sustain any positive momentum.
Thomas cut Hoosiers’ lead to 4 with 16:28 to play in the 2nd half, but that was as close as the Buckeyes would get. Oladipo scored 5 quick points to put the Hoosiers back on top by nine, and a layup by Zeller gave the Hoosiers a 12-point lead with 13:39 to play.
From there, Indiana would extend its lead directly to as much as 16 on another Three from Watford. Ohio State would cut the lead directly to 8 in the final minute of the game, but Indiana was not about give this one away like they actually did in a buzzer-beating loss in Champaign on Thursday night.