Indiana avoids letdown in win at Ohio State
by Terry Hutchens, USA TODAY Sports
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Apparently Indiana is a quick learner.
Three days after building a big lead on the road and collapsing down the stretch at Illinois, Indiana was in a similar situation at Ohio State.
This time the top-ranked Hoosiers did a much better job controlling the clock and hit enough big shots not to allow the Buckeyes back in it in an 81-68 victory at Value City Arena.
Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 26 points, Cody Zeller had 24 and Christian Watford had 20 for the Hoosiers in a dominating performance. Zeller and Oladipo combined to go 16-of-21 from the field.
It was a huge victory for an Indiana (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) team that had dropped a 74-72 decision on the road Thursday at Illinois.
The win moved the Hoosiers into a first place tie with Michigan State, both with 9-2 conference records. IU has home games this week against Nebraska and Purdue.
Ohio State (17-6, 7-4) suffered its first home conference loss.
Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State with 26 points.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Indiana in Columbus. The Hoosiers had lost each of those games by at least 17 points.
IU led by eight at half and Ohio State cut the lead to four at 43-39 with 16:30 to play.
But Oladipo scored inside and then hit a 3-pointer to build the lead to nine. When Will Sheehey hit a 17-footer from the top with 11:49 to play Indiana was up 55-44 and would never trail by less than double digits again.