No. 17 Ohio State survives late chase by Indiana to win 71-56

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Jae'Sean Tate
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Jae'Sean Tate /

Ohio State arrived ready to attack in the win over Indiana, even with a late chase from the Hoosiers

After falling four spots in the AP Poll, No. 17 Ohio State appeared to have things back on track. Five full days removed from a home loss to Penn State, Keita Bates-Diop and company looked refocused in the victory.

The Buckeyes offensive attack, which lacked in games leading up to and including the Penn State loss, hit early and often. After 20 minutes of play, Ohio State already looked all-too in command, heading to the locker room with a 38-22 lead.

One considerable factor in the first half was a clear size advantage in favor of the Buckeyes. While a switch to a 2-3 zone in the second half yielded better results, the paint provided many easy Buckeyes baskets. This allowed Kaleb Wesson to drop a very easy 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting.

Continuing the trend of size, the Buckeyes out rebounded the Hoosiers 39-26.

The second half allowed Indiana just enough room to stay alive. With 3:08 left in play, Indiana cut the Buckeyes’ lead down to 63-51, looking within striking distance.

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Consider the work of G Devonte Green the biggest catalyst to the Indiana run. The sophomore scored 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the loss, including 11 in the second half. His scoring gave the Buckeyes the biggest chase of all.

However, it takes more than a streaky sophomore to overcome Keita Bates-Diop. While the forward scored 13 points, they seemed to come in huge spots. Plus, he totaled 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks in a tremendous display of fundamental basketball.

While Bates-Diop doesn’t always get things done pretty, the junior can flat-out play the game.

Jae’Sean Tate finished as the leading scorer with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting in what overall felt like a comfortable Ohio State win. Tonight was a night about getting right and the Buckeyes accomplished that task.

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The 71-56 final margin might not display a perfect blowout, but it once again showed Ohio State can seal out conference opponents.