Riding a three-game losing streak, the Buckeyes traveled to Bloomington, Indiana, for a matchup with the unranked Hoosiers desperate to stop their mid-season bleeding.
Instead, Indiana (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten) handed No. 11 Ohio State (11-5, 1-4) its fourth loss in a row 66-54 after taking control with a huge second-half run.
Senior forward Andre Wesson finished with a team-high 15 points in the loss, knocking down three 3s and adding seven rebounds. Junior forward Kaleb Wesson, the Buckeyes’ top scorer, was limited by spotted foul trouble and stingy interior defense, finishing with just 11 points despite two made triples.
Indiana senior guard Devonte Green finished with a game-high 17 points — 13 coming in the second half. Sophomore forward Rob Phinisee added 13 points of his own.
After two traded 3s, Indiana launched its assault: a 14-1 dash to a 11-point lead it never relinquished.
The Buckeyes turned the ball over three times in the stretch, as sophomore guard Luther Muhammad fouled out en route to a 57-46 Indiana edge with 5:48 to play.
Ohio State sliced it back to 57-50, but Green pulled up to knock down a contested 3 and create an insurmountable 60-50 advantage with 2:52 remaining.
Junior forward Kyle Young, Ohio State’s No. 2 rebounder, made his return Saturday after missing two games due to an appendectomy. He finished with one point and three boards.
Poor free-throw shooting plagued both teams, with Indiana finishing 20-for-36 and Ohio State 11-for-19.
For 30 minutes, Ohio State and Indiana remained locked in a 3-point shooting battle.
Phinisee opened on a shooting tear for the Hoosiers.
The New York native hit three triples in the opening four minutes, sparking an early 13-5 Indiana lead before Andre Wesson battled back with five consecutive points, including a 3 of his own.
Ohio State whittled the advantage all the way down to 15-13 before the Hoosiers found their stride for an extended 9-3 run. Indiana’s lead grew to 25-16 before Andre Wesson could stop the bleeding.
He did more, however, as he sparked a 14-1 Ohio State run with 3s by Kaleb Wesson, Muhammad and freshman guard D.J. Carton.
The Buckeyes took their first lead of the game at 31:26 minutes before intermission.
Another 3 by Kaleb Wesson retook that lead when Indiana tied the game just before halftime, setting the halftime score at 34-31.
Indiana started the second half on an 8-0 run and 4-for-5 shooting. For the third time Saturday, Andre Wesson made a shot to end the streak, burying his third 3 of the contest. The Buckeyes battled back to recapture the edge at 42-40 with 11:43 to play before the Hoosiers took control.
Ohio State will try again to snap its losing streak against Nebraska Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Schottenstein Center.