Hoosiers Blast Ohio State in Bloomington
Indiana opened up a tight game through 15 minutes, utilizing a 15-0 run to end the first half and never looked back, cruising past the visiting Buckeyes 86-70, sending Ohio State down to their 7th loss in 8 games and searching for answers. The loss dropped the Buckeyes to 11-10 and 3-7, while Indiana improved to 15-6 and 6-4, winning their 5th straight. Brice Sensabaugh led Ohio State with 23, while Zed Key added 12. Jalen Hood-Schifino led Indiana with a game high 24, while Trayce Jackson-Davis added 18 and Malik Reneau chipped in 12.
Ohio State got off to a good start, scoring 9 of the first 11 points of the game to race out to a 9-2 lead thanks to five Brice Sensabaugh points. An IU triple cut into the advantage and at the first media timeout, the Buckeyes led the Hoosiers 9-5. Two Indiana free throws cut the lead to just two and after a pair of empty Buckeye possessions, an IU triple gave the Hoosiers their first lead. After Ohio State missed a lay up, another Hoosier triple extended lead to 4. Sensabaugh banged in a three to stop the Hoosier 11-0 run and get Ohio State back to within a point. The Hoosier All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis took the youngster Felix Okpara to school, spinning to the rim and flushing it home, but Okpara answered with a hook from the left baseline to pull Ohio State within one once again and at the under 12, Indiana led 15-14 in an entertaining first 8 minutes. The Buckeyes went back in front after Indiana missed a pair of free throws, Ohio State got out in transition and Roddy Gayle scored off the window at the rim. After a Hoosier turnover, Okpara grabbed an offensive rebound and dunked it home to put Ohio State up 3. Another IU triple, the fourth by Hoosier freshman, Jalen Hood-Schifino, tied the score, but the Buckeyes regained the lead when Justice Sueing dropped in one of two free throws. Two Sensabaugh free throws put Ohio State up three, but after a very questionable Key offensive foul, Hood-Schifino banged in another three to tie the game and on their next possession, the Hoosiers regained the lead, scoring at the rim and at the under 8, IU led OSU 23-21. During the timeout, Coach Holtmann was hit with a technical as the officiating as it usually is in that building was becoming very one-sided. Both technicals went down to put Indiana up 4 and another Hoosier bucket put Indiana up 6 and on a 9-0 run. Sensabaugh drilled a long jumper from the top to stop the run, but a pair of Hoosier free throws put Indiana back up 6. Ohio State got back even when Sean McNeil completed a pair of and-one opportunities on back to back possessions. An alley oop to Jackson-Davis put Indiana back in front. Key split a pair of freebies to draw Ohio State to within one and at the under 4 media timeout, Indiana led 31-30. Out of the timeout, with a chance to take the lead, Okpara missed two free throws and the Hoosiers took advantage and control, scoring the final 15 points of the half to take a commanding 46-30 lead at the break. The Buckeyes shot just 34% while the Hoosiers hit 6 of 12 from three and 49% overall. A 20-8 advantage in the paint and a 16-7 advantage on second chance points combined with the wheels falling off in the last 3 minutes allowed Indiana to take control. Brice Sensabaugh led Ohio State with 12 first half points, while Jalen Hood-Schifino utilized 6 triples to score a game high 20.
Before the second half started a piece of the scoreboard crashed to the floor, nearly hitting Sensabaugh and the teams were pulled off the court leading to a short delay before play resumed. Once play did get started the Hoosier run continued to 17-0, scoring the first two of the half before Key drilled a three from the right wing to cut the lead to 15. A rebound and flush by Key got Ohio State to within 13 and after a Hoosier miss, Sensabaugh scored with a reverse lay-in to get Ohio State a little closer. Indiana stopped the Ohio State 7-0 run, converting an old fashioned three point play before Sensabaugh knifed to the rim for two. An Indiana offensive foul gave the ball back to Ohio State and at the under 16, Indiana led 51-39. The lead ballooned back to 15, when a Hoosier triple dropped before Sueing scored with a leaner in the paint. A Hoosier deuce was followed by Thornton finding Gene Brown along the baseline who finished with a dunk. Four straight Hoosier points extended the lead before a McNeil old-fashioned three point play in transition cut the lead to 14. A Hoosier triple answered and at the under 12, the Hoosiers were firmly in control, up 63-46. The Buckeyes scored off a Hoosier turnover when Thornton found Okpara for a dunk in transition, but Indiana answered with 2 from point blank range. An Indiana bucket was sandwiched around a Sensabaugh triple and a short jumper off the glass and Ohio State took a timeout, trailing 67-53 with just over 9 to play. Another Hoosier triple dropped out of the timeout before Sensabaugh scored again off the glass, driving to the rim from the right. An Indiana two was followed by a Key hook mid-paint, but another IU jumper dropped and everything was going right for Indiana. The Buckeyes tried to chip into the lead in the waning minutes, but could not get enough shots to drop and defensive stops to threaten as Indiana cruised to the finish.
The good news…January is over and it was an atrocious month of basketball. After winning on New Year’s Day, in what was an outstanding win on the road at Northwestern, and seconds away from knocking off Purdue, it’s been all downhill since, save a nice home win over Iowa, finishing the month 2-7 after entering the month 9-3 and ranked in the top 25. Where do they go from here? It’s anybody’s guess. There’s still plenty of basketball to play, but unless they figure out a way to string together a stretch of winning basketball, Ohio State is going to miss the NCAA tournament for the first time in the Chris Holtmann era. How did we get here? They went from a team that looked like a national contender to a team that’s fighting to stay out of the cellar in an average Big Ten conference. The coaching staff and the veteran leaders need to dig down deep and figure it out right now. When faced with adversity, the strong rise up and answer the call. We’re about to find out what this group is made of over the next 4 weeks.
Ohio State will next take the floor on Thursday night welcoming Wisconsin to the Schott. Tip is scheduled for 7 PM, airing on FS1.