BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) –
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Indiana wanted to take away Ohio State’s inside game.
The Buckeyes didn’t care. They were content shooting jump shots Friday night.
William Buford scored 24 points, and No. 2 Ohio State made 13 of 19 3-pointers in an 85-67 victory – a shooting performance so incredible it even surprised Buford.
”I didn’t know we shot that good. That’s pretty good,” the junior said. ”When they were in a zone, we was rotating the ball, and then they couldn’t get to the shooters and we was just knocking them down.”
Did they ever.
The Buckeyes shot 60.5 percent from the field and 68.4 percent from 3-point range despite missing every shot they took over the final 8:06. They tied the Assembly Hall record for most 3s by a visiting team, matching the 13 Northwestern hit last season. Plus, they accomplished something no other Buckeyes team had – winning three straight in the Hoosiers’ current home arena.
Yes, it was a momentous night for the Buckeyes (14-0, 1-0 Big Ten).
They have won three straight in Bloomington for the first time since 1968-70, before Indiana moved to Assembly Hall. Ohio State has won eight straight road games, its longest such streak since winning nine in a row from 1970-72, and maintained its status as one of the nation’s few remaining unbeaten teams.
”That’s the way basketball is supposed to be played. They beat you on the pass more than they beat you on anything else,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. ”They’re such a dominant team, and they’re so good at so many positions that you can’t let guys do things that they don’t normally do and we let Buford get hot early and it killed us.”
Crean tried everything to stop the Buckeyes. With no good match up against freshman forward Jared Sullinger, Crean decided to start the game in a zone.
The Buckeyes played a nearly perfect half – making 15 of 21 from the field, 7 of 10 from 3-point range and 9 of 11 from the free throw line. And Sullinger still managed to get 11 points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes. He finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
”Jared did not get a lot of ball touches to start the game,” Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said. ”I thought our guys did a great job of remaining patient and getting the ball into the post. We know Jared will throw the ball outside a lot and our guys were hitting from outside.”
Indiana (9-6, 0-2) couldn’t keep up with the passes or the baskets.
Christian Watford led the Hoosiers with 17 points, scoring 12 in the second half. Freshman Victor Oladipo had 14 points and six rebounds in his second career start, and Jordan Hulls finished with 12 points and three assists.
But against the hot-shooting Buckeyes, the Hoosiers didn’t have an answer.
Buford and Jon Diebler knocked down four 3-pointers in the first 6 minutes, and David Lighty made two free throws to give Ohio State an early 22-8 lead. Diebler finished with 15 points, all on 3-pointers.
Things only got worse for Indiana.
Forward Tom Pritchard was called for his fourth foul with 18:01 left in the game, and his replacement, Derek Elston, picked up his fifth foul with 17:17 to go, putting the already short-handed Hoosiers in a real predicament.
Ohio State took advantage, extending a 46-33 halftime lead to 50-35 on Buford’s fourth 3 of the game.
Watford’s 3 at the shot-clock buzzer with 12:55 left got the Hoosiers within 60-48, but the Buckeyes put it away with a 9-2 run that extended the lead to 69-50.
Even an 8-minute stretch without a basket couldn’t derail the Buckeyes this time.
”When Sully’s in the game, he’s such a factor and they concentrate on him, and we just opened it up,” Buford said. ”Then he did what he does down low and it just opened up the game for us.”
Ohio State Notes vs. Indiana
Noting the Indiana Game:
Ohio State 85, Indiana 67 (Dec. 31)
- Ohio State’s four returning starters (Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Dallas Lauderdale and William Buford) have combined for 348 career starts and 453 games played.
- The 14-0 overall record is the fourth-best start in Ohio State history (1960-61, 27-0; 1961-62, 22-0; 1990-91, 17-0).
- As a ranked team, Ohio State is 375-105 all-time.
- Ohio State improved to 27-7 when ranked second in the country, and 112-17 when ranked among the Top 3 in the country.
- When ranked in the Top 10 nationally, Ohio State is 254-56 with wins in 45 of its last 47 outings.
- The Buckeyes are now 73-99 vs. Indiana all-time and 702-658 vs. teams from the Big Ten. Ohio State has won its last five games vs. the Hoosiers, the longest winning streak in the series for the Buckeyes.
- Ohio State has won its last eight road games and the last seven in league play.
- This is the 238th-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
- Ohio State made 13 of 19 shots from 3-point range vs. the Hoosiers. The 13 made 3s tied an opponent record for long range makes at Assembly Hall. The total also ties the Ohio State record for most made 3s vs. Indiana. The Buckeyes made 13 vs. the Hoosiers on Jan. 13, 2009 at Value City Arena. Ohio State won that game 77-53.
- Ohio State made 71 pct. of its shots in the first half (15-21) and 64 pct. from long range (7-11) to take a 46-33 lead at the break.
- The 14-0 record to begin the season is the best start for Thad Matta at Ohio State (previous best was in 2005-06, when the team began 11-0) and his first time completing a non-conference schedule undefeated.
- With the win, Ohio State is 43-6 (.878) in December under Matta and 8-0 this season, the most wins during the month in his Ohio State career.
- Matta improved his career record to 272-85 overall and 170-54 at Ohio State.
- Matta is 90-17 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State and 80-37 vs. Big Ten foes (regular season and Big Ten tournament games) for an overall record of 170-54.
- During Matta’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are 156-5 when leading with five minutes to play.
- The Buckeyes are 12-0 this season and 153-17 when shooting a better field goal percentage than the opponent.
- When outrebounding their opponent, the Buckeyes are 10-0 this year and 97-14 under Matta (Ohio State outrebounded Indiana 30-20).
- When Ohio State has fewer than 15 turnovers, it is 13-0 on the season and 141-43 under Matta (OSU had 14 turnovers vs. Indiana).
- Under Matta, Ohio State is 10-0 in 2010 and 114-11 overall when scoring 70 or more points in a game.
- Junior guard William Buford led the Buckeyes with 24 points, pushing his career total to 1,088. He passed Carter Scott and Scoonie Penn 40th-place all-time in career scoring at Ohio State.
- Buford scored the first eight points of the game. He finished the game with a season-high 24 points.
- Big Ten Freshman of the Week (his sixth of the season) Jared Sullinger finished the contest with 19 points. Sullinger has scored at least 10 points in 12 out or 14 games this season.
- With five made 3-pointers vs. Indiana, senior Jon Diebler now has 304 for his career, passing Dee Brown (Illinois – 299) for sixth-place in career 3-pointers made in Big Ten history. He is four away from tying Joe Crispin (308, Penn St. 1998-2001) for fifth-place.
- With five made 3-pointers, Diebler extends his streak to 30 games in a row with at least one 3-pointer made.
- Diebler made all five 3-point attempts to tie and Ohio State record for 3-point shooting percentage in a game (5-5/1.000).
- With 15 points against the Hoosiers, Diebler now has 1,241 career points, passing Larry Siegfried and Ron Stokes for 26th place in Ohio State history.
- The game vs. Indiana marked senior David Lighty’s 102nd career start for Ohio State, passing Troy Taylor for ninth place in career games started at Ohio State. He is three starts away from tying Jim Smith for eighth place in career games started for the Buckeyes.
- Lighty recorded his 109th win as a Buckeye vs. the Hoosiers. He had 35 as a freshman, 25 as a sophomore, 29 as a junior and seven during the 2008-09 season when he received a medical redshirt because of a broken foot. He is two wins away from owning the Ohio State record.
- Lighty has played in 134 games as a Buckeye, which is second all-time.
- Lighty had two steals, passing Evan Turner (159) for third place all-time at Ohio State with 161. He also recorded five assists to give him 305 for his career.