Ohio State (20-9, 10-8 Big Ten) 52, Northwestern (17-12, 9-9 Big Ten) 47
March 8, 2009
Value City Arena
Attendance: 19,049 (Sellout)
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Northwestern 106-45 with a record of 63-14 in Columbus. The Buckeyes had won the last 11 games in the series before the 72-69 loss to the Wildcats Feb. 18 in Evanston. Thad Matta is 8-1 vs. Northwestern since taking over the Ohio State program in 2004-05.
Head coach Thad Matta has won at least 20 games in all nine seasons as a collegiate head coach. Matta and Mark Few are the only active head coaches to have won at least 20 games in every season as a head coach. Few has done so 10 times.
Evan Turner poured in a team-high 17 points, the 15th time he has led the Buckeyes in scoring this season, and had a game-high five assists. Turner made three free throws, giving him 149 on the season and moved him into sole possession of 10th place on the season free throws list. Turner trails Richard Schnittker (153) for ninth place.
The win today was the 10th Big Ten win this season for the Buckeyes and also the 26th occasion that Ohio State has won 10 or more in league play. The Buckeyes have made the NCAA tournament 19 times when winning 10 or more games in the Big Ten.
Freshman William Buford had a career-high eight rebounds to go along with 11 points. Buford needs just four points to tie Kelvin Ransey for ninth on the freshman scoring list.
Jon Diebler went 3-for-7 from the 3-point line. He has made a 3-point basket in 25 of 27 games this season. His 82 3-pointers on the season place him at No. 3 on the single-season list, trailing No. 2 Scoonie Penn, who made 88 in 1998-99. Diebler has also made 130 career 3-pointers at Ohio State, passing Ivan Harris for ninth all-time in program history.
Diebler made 11 of 16 shots (.688) from 3-point range in two games this season vs. Northwestern. Diebler played 40 or more minutes for the ninth time in 10 games and for the 12th time this season.
Freshman center B.J. Mullens scored 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting (.625) from the field. Mullens leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage in all games (111-172/.645) and in league games only (78-111/.702). His .645 mark is the highest all-time for an Ohio State freshman, ahead of Greg Oden (.616) and Terence Dials (.623).
The 15 first-half points scored by the Wildcats was the second lowest by an Ohio State opponent this season (Samford, 6) and lowest by any Big Ten opponent this season. The Buckeyes held Northwestern to 6-for-23 shooting (.261) from the field in the first half while forcing nine turnovers and blocking two shots. The 47 total points put up by Northwestern was also the third lowest by an Ohio State opponent this season (22, Samford; 42 Delaware State).
The Buckeyes opened the game on a 21-6 run, behind seven points from William Buford, six points from Jon Diebler and five points from Evan Turner. P.J. Hill and Turner each had two assists during the run as well.
The Buckeyes are 1-1 this season and 3-2 under Matta when tied with five minutes to play.
Ohio State has never lost under Matta on senior day, going 5-0.
Thad Matta is 80-9 overall in Columbus with a record of 76-9 at VCA, 3-0 at St. John Arena and 1-0 at Nationwide Arena.
Matta is 227-75 (.752) in nine seasons, including five at Ohio State (125-44/.740).
The Ohio State men’s basketball team will lose four members of its support staff following this season. Janice Wicker, who has spent the last 38 years working for the University, has spent the last 18 in the athletics ticket office. She has worked with several teams but primarily men’s basketball during her tenure. Brice Westfall’s Ohio State career as an equipment manager has spanned the last 36 years. He has worked with many teams over the years at St. John Arena and the Schottenstein Center. He has focused on the basketball and cheerleading programs since the opening of the Schottenstein Center in 1998. Jacob Beede, who has spent the last four years as a student manager will graduate with a degree in Sports & Leisure Studies. John DeTemple, another four-year manager, is a Cincinnati native who will graduate with an accounting degree.