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January 23, 1999

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%^$Box Score | Notes & Quotes%^$

%^$ COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State got its revenge.

%^$ In the Buckeyes’ dreadful 1997-98 season, the lowest point might have come%^$at Minnesota.

%^$ Ohio State didn’t forget, and its revenge came Saturday with a surprisingly%^$easy 89-60 victory over the 17th-ranked Golden Gophers.%^$

“They killed us last year,” forward Jason Singleton said of 76-53 loss at%^$Williams Arena. “We owed them.”

%^$ The memory burned into the Buckeyes’ minds was Minnesota senior Sam Jacobson%^$pumping up 3-pointers near the finish, trying to extend his string of 20-point%^$games in a contest long since decided.

%^$ “They rubbed it in our noses,” said Scoonie Penn, who matched his Ohio%^$State best with 24 points.

%^$ “We wanted to blow them out,” said Michael Redd, who scored 17 of his 19%^$points as Ohio State rolled to a big first-half lead and never looked back.%^$”It was in the back of our minds. We wanted to get revenge in a big way.”%^$

The Buckeyes (15-5, 5-2 in the Big Ten) won for the fourth time in five%^$tries against a ranked opponent during a grueling three-week span. They have%^$won the four by an average of 20 points, including routs of then-No. 13 Indiana%^$(73-56) and No. 16 Purdue (72-43).

%^$ Quincy Lewis, the conference’s leading scorer, was the only player for%^$Minnesota (12-4, 3-3 Big Ten) in double figures. He hit his average with 23%^$points.

%^$ It was Minnesota’s second-worst loss ever in 117 meetings with Ohio State,%^$surpassed only by a 94-63 Buckeye win in 1992. It was also the most points Ohio%^$State had scored in a conference game in more than six years.%^$

“They just kicked our fanny,” Minnesota coach Clem Haskins said. “They%^$are a top-15 team.”

%^$ No team had shot better than 44.6 percent against Minnesota all season. But%^$Ohio State – leading the Big Ten in shooting – hit 33-of-61 from the field for%^$54.1 percent to the Gophers’ 38 percent.

%^$ The Buckeyes’ starting five was 8-for-17 from 3-point range.%^$

Penn hit 9-of-13 shots from the field and also had four assists and four%^$rebounds.

%^$ “What a difference a premier guard makes,” Haskins said of Penn, a%^$transfer from Boston College who watched Ohio State go 8-22 a year ago. “He%^$put on a display. We couldn’t do anything with him. He’s one of the top guards%^$in the country.”

%^$ In addition to Redd’s 19 points, Singleton was 7-for-8 from the field for 16%^$points and Ken Johnson had 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.%^$

“I’m on record of telling you how much I love that kid,” said Ohio State%^$coach Jim O’Brien. “But it’s a disservice to the other guys. Scoonie is by far%^$the biggest component, but this does not happen with just Scoonie.”

%^$ Minnesota, 1-8 on the road a year ago, fell to 0-2 in Big Ten road games%^$this year.

%^$ As in their 72-43 victory over Purdue four days earlier -which they led%^$42-22 at halftime – the Buckeyes dominated the opening 20 minutes and never%^$trailed in building a 43-32 lead at the break.

%^$ Redd scored five points in the opening 26 seconds and the Buckeyes hit nine%^$of their first 10 shots from the field to build a 21-5 lead by the 15:44 mark.%^$Redd had 10 points in the early surge.

%^$ Minnesota never got closer than eight points again. The Buckeyes opened the%^$second half with a 6-0 run and later added an 11-0 spurt and led by as many as%^$35 points at 82-47. Jon Sanderson dunked with 2 seconds left off an alley-oop%^$pass from Boban Savovic, adding an exclamation point to the rout.

%^$ O’Brien wasn’t ready to claim a spot in the top 25, let alone one in the%^$NCAA tournament.

%^$ “That’s still a big stretch in my mind,” he said. “We’ve had the benefit%^$of five of our seven conference games at home. Now it’s going to get%^$increasingly difficult. Before we throw out too many platitudes, I think we%^$need to reserve what we’ve done and see where we are.”