Kenny Greer / Lantern Photographer
Ohio State junior guard Evan Turner, who had been sidelined with a back injury since Dec. 5, made his return to the court Wednesday night in the Buckeyes’ 79-54 win over the Indiana Hoosiers.
Turner started at point guard for OSU, scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds and had five assists in his 20 minutes of play.
Though he seemed a little rusty at the start of the game, Turner appeared to shake off any cobwebs as the game went on. On multiple occasions he hit the floor, either diving for loose balls or following a foul, but he showed no lingering effects from last month’s injury.
He played the first nine minutes of the game, but after picking up his second foul he sat the remainder of the half, before returning to start the second session. He left the game again with 4:13 remaining in the game and received a rousing ovation from the Schottenstein Center crowd.
Aside from Turner’s return, the story of the game was Indiana’s inability to hold on to the basketball. The Hoosiers turned the ball over 23 times, including 14 in the first 20 minutes. The frequent miscues aided a 16-0 first half run for OSU.
The run gave the Buckeyes a 31-8 lead with five minutes remaining in the first half, and they never looked back en route to the 25-point victory.
Guards Jon Diebler and William Buford led the way on the offensive end for the Buckeyes, scoring 21 and 16 points respectively, and were the only two OSU players to score in double figures. Diebler, who had been struggling lately, caught fire from beyond the 3-point arc, going five for eight from outside.
Senior P.J. Hill, who might see decreased playing time as Turner makes his way back into the lineup, added nine points of his own and handed out four assists.
With the victory, the Buckeyes moved to 11-5 on the year, 1-2 in Big Ten play. OSU begins a two-game road trip Saturday in Minnesota, before playing at Purdue next week.