Evan Turner had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, Buckeye win streak ends at 14 games
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Alex Ruoff scored 17 points, leading West Virginia and coach Bob Huggins to a 76-48 victory over No. 15 Ohio State on Saturday.
Da’Sean Butler had 16 points – all but two in the first half – with Darryl Bryant adding 11 and Devin Ebanks 10 for the Mountaineers (10-2), who handed Ohio State its first defeat of the season. West Virginia has won four in a row since a 68-65 loss to Davidson in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 9.
Up by seven at halftime, the Mountaineers extended the lead to more than 20 midway through the second half and then poured it on the rest of the way.
William Buford and Jeremie Simmons each scored 11 points, and Evan Turner had 10 and 11 rebounds for Ohio State (9-1).
The loss not only ended Ohio State’s perfect start, it wiped out a 14-game winning streak overall, including last season’s five-game run to the NIT title. The Buckeyes had also won their last 54 games in Columbus against unranked teams.
The Mountaineers held the Buckeyes (31 percent) below 40 percent shooting for the first time this season. The 48 points were also the fewest by Ohio State this season.
It was a particularly sweet victory for Huggins, a schoolboy star in Ohio for his famous coaching father. Huggins also served as an assistant at Ohio State under Eldon Miller.
The Mountaineers, who trailed by five points early in the game, built their lead to 45-35 in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half. Three of their five field goals in the half came on follows as they beat the Buckeyes to spare rebounds and loose balls.
Even with Butler out of the lineup with four fouls, the Mountaineers didn’t skip a beat. A spinning layup by Ebanks and John Flowers’ fake and layup in traffic expanded the West Virginia lead to 49-38 with 13:05 left before Ohio State coach Thad Matta called a timeout.
The Buckeyes scored on their next possession but the Mountaineers weren’t fazed. Ruoff nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner, Flowers blocked a 3-point attempt by Ohio State’s Jon Diebler and then in a rapid transition, Wellington Smith drove the lane for another basket to push the lead to 54-40. After an Ohio State turnover, Ruoff stutter-stepped through the lane for another layup. Bryant added a fast-break bucket for a 68-40 lead, all but silencing a sellout crowd of 19,049 at Value City Arena.
Huggins came in 0-2 against Ohio State, losing both times while he was coaching at Akron.
The Mountaineers led 35-28 at halftime by blending gritty, physical defense with timely shooting. They held Ohio State to one field goal over the last 5 1/2 minutes.
Butler had 14 points, including a 3-pointer and a 15-foot fadeway for West Virginia’s final two baskets.
Turner, averaging just under 17 points per game, never had the ball without also having someone in his face. He had six points on 3-of-9 shooting.