MBK: Ohio State 71, Iona 53
December 20, 2008
Value City Arena // Attendance: 14,029
Ohio State evened the all-time series at 1-1 against Iona and is now 3-2 against teams from the Metro Athletic Conference. The only previous meeting with the Gaels was in 1981 as part of the Great Alaska Shootout.
The Buckeyes used a 24-8 run over 7:17 in the second half to go from trailing 31-28 at 17:17 to owning a 53-42 margin with 10:00 to play. Evan Turner scored 12 points in the run to finish the night with a game-high 21 (15 in the second half).
Jon Diebler earned new career highs in both free throws made and attempted by going 11-for-12 from the line. Combined with Turner, the duo was 19-for-25, accounting for 19 of the team’s 26 shots from the line.
Freshman B.J. Mullens made his first career start vs. the Gaels. He scored nine points, all in the first half, by going 4-for-6 from the field and 1-for-1 from the charity stripe. Mullens also had a career-high tying two blocks and four boards.
With a 3-point basket in the first half, Jeremie Simmons continued his streak of a made 3-pointer in every game this season. Simmons was 1-for-4 from 3-point range and is now 13-for-38 on the year. Simmons finished the day with eight points and five rebounds.
William Buford scored in double-digits for the second time this season with 10 points. He also had a career-high five rebounds, including four on the defensive end.
Turner and Kyle Madsen served as captains for the game Saturday in absence of David Lighty, who will miss 6-12 weeks with a broken foot suffered in the Jacksonville game.
Ohio State scored 23 of its points off 16 turnovers by Iona. The Buckeyes turned the ball over 10 times, tying the second-lowest total of the season.
The win Saturday marks the 11th-consecutive victory in Columbus for the Buckeyes. This is the second-longest home win streak for Ohio State under head coach Thad Matta after his 2006-07 team won 29-consecutive home games.
Ohio State has won the last 53 games in Columbus vs. unranked opponents, 49 of which have been played at Value City Arena.
Matta is 64-1 vs. unranked opponents in Columbus since taking over the Ohio State program in 2004-05. The only loss was an overtime setback to Minnesota Jan. 19, 2005 (60-56).
Ohio State has not lost in Columbus as a ranked team to an unranked non-conference opponent since a 76-67 setback to South Alabama Dec. 16, 1980, a span of 40 games. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 7 in that game.
Ohio State has the nation’s longest win streak at 13 games after five-consecutive victories to end the 2007-08 season and victories in the first eight games this year. Ohio State won the 2008 National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Matta improved his career record to 215-66 in his ninth season as a head coach … He is 113-35 in his fifth year at Ohio State … Matta has started the season 8-0 in two seasons at Ohio State (2005-06, 2008-09).
Ohio State is 333-95 all time when ranked in the AP Top 25.
Ohio State is 41-3 at VCA when ranked among the AP Top 25. The Buckeyes have won the last 28 games at VCA as a Top 25 team.
Ohio State has a record of 58-4 vs. non-conference teams at Value City Arena and is 96-19 overall at the VCA.
Seven different players have scored in double figures at least once this season. Turner leads the team with seven games, while Dieblier and Lighty have tallied 10 or more points in four games. Buford now has two.
With a 28-24 halftime lead, the Buckeyes led at the half for the seventh time in eight games this season. Ohio State is now 7-0 when leading at the half this season.
The Buckeyes are 4-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points.
Ohio State is 102-4 under Matta when leading with five minutes to play in the second half.