Big Ten Tournament: Ohio State Holds Off Indiana, 79-75; Spartans Up Next

By March 14, 2019 (2:52 pm)Basketball, Tim Moody
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The Ohio State men’s basketball team will be in Chicago for at least one more game.

The Buckeyes, led by 18 points from fifth-year senior guard Keyshawn Woods, beat Indiana, 79-75, in the second round of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center on Thursday afternoon.

Head coach Chris Holtmann’s team will face No. 1 seed Michigan State at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

Ohio State led by as many as 20 in the second half, but the Buckeyes saw that lead shrink back to three – 72-69 – with just under a minute remaining. Fifth-year senior guard Keyshawn Woods responded with a driving layup and Indiana’s Evan Fitzner committed a charge on the other end, leading to a breakaway dunk for OSU freshman guard Duane Washington.

Indiana’s Devonte Green responded with a three-pointer then, after OSU’s Andre Wesson split his trip to the free-throw line, he hit another long ball to make it a two-point game with 6 seconds left. The Hoosiers fouled senior guard C.J. Jackson after that and he made both free throws to ice the game.

Woods big day was complimented by 17 points each from Jackson and sophomore center Kaleb Wesson, who was playing for the first time since a three-game suspension to close out the regular season. Kaleb Wesson added 13 rebounds for a double-double.

Green finished with a game-high 26 points on 9 of 15 shooting (8 of 10 from three) while Juwan Morgan tacked on 12 points for Indiana.

Ohio State led for most of the first half, but never by more than seven points. The Buckeyes first took that advantage at 29-22 on a three-pointer from Andre Wesson with 3:48 to play, but Indiana responded 21 seconds later with a three from Green. The Buckeyes went ahead by seven again, 35-28, when  Woods hit a turnaround jumper with a second on the clock to send the game to halftime.

Before the break, Woods had tallied 10 points on a perfect 5-for-5 mark from the field. Ohio State also benefited in the first 20 minutes from sloppy shooting (9 of 30 overall, 4 of 14 from three) by Indiana, while the Buckeyes also scored 17 off of the Hoosiers’ 10 first-half turnovers – compared to two points for Indiana off nine Buckeye giveaways.

Ohio State saw its lead grow to double digits for the first time less than three minutes into the second period at 40-30 and the Buckeyes started to pull away from there. Jackson had a layup and a three-pointer while Kaleb Wesson nailed four free throws during a sequence that put Ohio State up 13, 49-36, with less than 14 minutes to play.

After a jumper by Morgan made it 53-43 with 11:10 on the clock, the Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run to take a 20-point lead with 7:30 left. During the spurt, freshman guard Luther Muhammad had to three-pointers, Woods made a jumper and Andre Wesson connected on two free throws.

Less than three minutes later, though, the lead was back to single digits. Green hit two three-pointers, Evan Fitzner had a layup and a long ball and De’ron Davis made a layup for a 13-0 Hoosier run that made it 63-56 with 4:20 on the clock before a Jackson three-pointer stopped the bleeding.

Indiana kept pressing, though, going on a 13-9 run to make it a one-possession game before Woods scored with 34 seconds left and Ohio State closed out the contest despite the late heroics from Green.

For the game, Ohio State shot 28 of 62 (45.2 percent) from the field and 8 of 22 (36.4) from deep. IU was 27 of 62 (43.5) overall and 11 of 27 (40.7) from beyond the three-point arc.

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