CHICAGO, Illinois — Ohio State’s NCAA Tournament fate is still yet to be determined, but for the first time in three years, the Buckeyes have won a Big Ten Tournament game as they knocked off the Indiana Hoosiers, 79-75, to advance to the tourney quarterfinals.
After starting 0-13 from the field at Northwestern and 0-11 from the field against Wisconsin, it only took Ohio State five shots to make their first basket against Indiana in their first game of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament.
The Buckeyes jumped out to an early 8-3 lead over the Hoosiers at the under-16 timeout, but the Ohio State offense would stall out after that point as they only made two of their next ten shot attempts and Indiana would tie it up at 15 with 9:13 left in the first half.
Ohio State would end up pulling away towards the end of the half and take a solid 35-28 lead at halftime.
The Buckeyes dominated out of the half as they built up a 63-43 lead with only 7:10 remaining in the game.
However, the Hoosiers wouldn’t go down without a fight as they went on a 13-0 run over the next 2:50 to cut the Buckeye lead to seven with just 4:20 left.
Indiana had managed to cut Ohio State’s lead down to two with just six seconds remaining, but the Buckeyes prevailed as they pulled out the 79-75 victory.
Sophomore big man Kaleb Wesson put on a show in his first game back from suspension as he led the Buckeyes to victory with a monstrous double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds as well as adding three assists and three blocks.
Senior guard C.J. Jackson also provided some much-needed scoring in Ohio State’s victory with 17 points as well as recording three steals.
Senior forward Keyshawn Woods stepped up against the Hoosiers as well as he scored 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He also had seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block.
Junior forward Andre Wesson also scored in double digits for the Buckeyes as he posted 13 points while nabbing three steals.
B1G Win For The Buckeyes
It may seem like this season has been disastrous to some Buckeye fans, but Ohio State managed to achieve something on Thursday that no Buckeye team had done since 2015: win a Big Ten Tournament game.
In Thad Matta’s last year as head coach, the Buckeyes were bounced by a lowly Rutgers team. Last season, Chris Holtmann suffered a loss to Penn State in his first Big Ten Tournament game as head coach at Ohio State, despite a stellar regular season where the Buckeyes finished second in the B1G standings.
Not this season though.
Despite finishing just 8-12 in the Big Ten for the 2018-19 regular season, the Buckeyes managed to pull off their first conference tourney win in three years as they knocked off Indiana, 79-75.
The victory over the Hoosiers also most likely means a berth in the NCAA Tournament as most of the major bracket experts had Ohio State vs. Indiana as a de-facto “play-in” game for The Big Dance.
So, despite this season of setbacks, it would appear that the Buckeyes are still going dancing, although they will have to wait till Sunday’s March Madness Selection Show t o know their fate for sure.
Ohio State will now advance to the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals to face No. 1 seed Michigan State on Friday, where a win over the Spartans would almost certainly guarantee them a spot in the NCAA Tournament and probably an improved seeding.
Tip-off tomorrow is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on Big Ten Network
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Categories: Men's Basketball