No. 1-seed Ohio State (21-13, 10-8 Big Ten) 73, No. 4-seed California (17-16, 6-12 Pac-10) 56
March 24, 2008
2008 MasterCard NIT Second Round
St. John Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 13,276 Sellout

NEXT GAME: Ohio State will next host Dayton Wednesday at Value City Arena. Game time is to be determined. Tickets go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m. at 1-800-GO-BUCKS or

Postgame Notes

  • California is the first Pac-10 opponent Ohio State has faced since taking on Southern California Dec. 20, 1997. The Buckeyes won 79-73 in St. John Arena.
  • Ohio State is 8-9 all-time against the Bears. The last time the Buckeyes faced Cal was in the NCAA championship title game March 19, 1960, in which Ohio State won 75-55. The last time OSU played Cal in Columbus was Dec. 23, 1949, with the Buckeyes winning 78-67.
  • The sellout crowd of 13,276 was the largest crowd at St. John Arena since the Buckeyes played Chattanooga, in front of 11,568 people Nov. 27, 2004.
  • Ohio State improved to 33-34 against the Pac-10 Conference. It was the first time head coach Thad Matta faced California in his coaching career.
  • The Buckeyes remained a perfect 5-0 all-time in NIT second round games.
  • The Buckeyes have won 49-consecutive games against unranked opponents in Columbus (46 in Value City Arena, two in St. John Arena and one in Nationwide Arena). Their last loss to an unranked team was vs. Minnesota, Jan. 19, 2005 (60-56 OT).
  • Under Matta, OSU is 58-1 against unranked opponents in Columbus, including a 54-1 mark in VCA, 3-0 in St. John Arena and 1-0 in Nationwide Arena.
  • Ohio State led 35-23 at the half to improve to 16-3 this season and 86-11 under Matta when leading at the half.
  • All 13 Buckeyes saw action with nine players scoring.
  • Ohio State scored 20 points off 16 Cal turnovers. The Bears had only six points off of 13 OSU turnovers.
  • The Buckeyes closed out the first half with a 15-4 run beginning at 6:14. Jamar Butler hit three 3-pointers in the last 3:04 to help build the OSU lead. In the first half, Butler led the team with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
  • Ohio State then opened the second half with a 7-0 run (22-4 run overall including first half), holding Cal scoreless until 17:12. The Bears began the second half 0-of-2 from the field with three turnovers, including two OSU steals.
  • California did not go to the line until 16:23 of the second half. The Bears finished the game hitting 4-of-6 from the line.
  • Butler had three assists for a total of 202 assists this season. He is only the second Buckeye to have 200 or more assists in a season, along with Mike Conley Jr. (2006-07 season), who holds the record with 238.
  • Butler has scored 20 or more points 10 times this season, including four of the last five games.
  • Butler scored a team-high 20 points to increase his career scoring to 1,265 career points, good for 24th place all-time in the Ohio State records. No. 23 on the list is Clark Kellogg (1980-82) with 1,285.
  • Butler did not go to the free-throw line for the second-consecutive game as his made FT streak remained at 22.
  • Senior Othello Hunter grabbed 16 rebounds to set a career high and the most by a Buckeye this season. He had eight rebounds in the first half and a total of seven of his boards were on the offensive end. Hunter added 11 points for his fifth career double-double and fourth of the season.
  • With Hunter’s double-double, the Buckeyes improved to 43-8 when recording a double-double under Thad Matta. It was the 12th double-double by Ohio State this season with a 9-3 mark in those games.
  • Senior Matt Terwilliger scored six points and Ohio State improved to 32-1 when he scores at least four points.
  • Freshman Kosta Koufos had double-digit points for the 16th time in the last 17 games with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
  • Combined, Koufos and Butler scored 37 points on 16-of-23 shooting from the field and 5-of-11 from the arc.
  • Freshman Evan Turner had three steals for the second-consecutive game to tie his career high for the fifth time this season.