Ohio State (19-5, 10-1) got back on track with a 71-56 win against Indiana (12-11, 5-6) to improve to 10-1 in conference play Tuesday night.
The Buckeyes shot 56 percent from the field, compared to 36 percent from the Hoosiers. Though both teams struggled from beyond the arc with neither shooting above 33 percent from 3-point range, Ohio State dominated inside, outscoring the Hoosiers 40-26 in points in the paint.
The Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run with 14:39 remaining in the first half, taking a 14-5 lead and never looking back. During that run, Indiana missed all of their five field goal tries and were scoreless for 3:22 until junior forward Juwan Morgan’s shot rolled around the rim and into the basket.
For Indiana head coach Archie Miller, the physicality of the Buckeyes made it difficult for the Hoosiers to stay competitive in the game.
“I thought defensively, they were very very tough. I know around the basket especially around the paint things were hard. That made it for a difficult night for us.”
Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, who entered the game leading Ohio State with 19.9 points per game, struggled in the first half, shooting only 3-for-7 from the field and missing both 3-point attempts. But a layup by Bates-Diop ended a 2:36 scoring drought for the Buckeyes with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.
He finished the game with his ninth double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and led all players with 13 rebounds. Bates-Diop also led the game with a career-high five assists.
Though he got off to a slow start, Bates-Diop was able to impact in other ways, demonstrating effective passes while also adding four blocks to his line score.
“People continue to be really physical with him and he struggled with that at times. I think people are being extremely physical with him and he’s just got to handle it better,” head coach Chris Holtmann said. “But he still had a major impact on the game with his ability to as you mentioned, five assists, four blocks, 13 rebounds. That’s what good players do is they find other ways to impact the game and he did that.”
The Buckeyes started the game hot, making 17-of-27 shots from the field in the first half.
Ohio State was hitting shots from all over the court. The Buckeyes went on another 10-0 run over 3:17 with 8:35 remaining in the first half, starting with a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Andre Wesson and capped off by a shot-clock-beating jumper by senior forward Jae’Sean Tate. Tate finished the game with a team-leading 16 points and six rebounds.
The Buckeyes held a commanding 38-23 lead heading into halftime. At the half, the Buckeyes totaled 16 defensive rebounds and three offensive rebounds. Ohio State finished the game with a 39-26 rebound advantage.
With a made layup 47 seconds into the second half that put the Buckeyes up 42-25, Tate reached 1,400 points in his collegiate career. Tate tipped in a miss from junior guard C.J. Jackson that gave the Buckeyes a 56-37 lead and Tate his 700th career rebound.
Freshman center Kaleb Wesson led the Scarlet and Gray with 10 points at halftime. He finished the game 7-for-7 from the floor and totaled 14 points and five rebounds.
“It’s all great, but I just want to win. None of those really mean anything if you’re not winning games,” Tate said. “I think that’s just been my mindset all along. I’m a winner. Milestones are cool but I really want to get a ring this year.”
Indiana sophomore guard Devonte Green finished the game pacing all players with 20 points off 6-for-10 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.