Recap: No. 20 Ohio State Falls to No. 10 Indiana, 86-66

By December 12, 2021 (8:55 pm)Basketball

No. 20 Ohio State hosted No. 10 Indiana on Sunday and suffered its first conference loss of the season, falling 86-66 to the Hoosiers.

The Buckeyes kept things close in the first half despite some self-inflicted mistakes, but Indiana was able to pull away in the second half to stay undefeated in league play, taking advantage of a sloppy game by Ohio State.

Indiana stifled Ohio State early, taking a 10-0 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Buckeyes had five turnovers to that point and committed two offensive fouls.

The Hoosiers maintained their 10-point lead, 17-7, but Ohio State knocked down three-pointers on its next two possessions, one each by senior guards Braxtin Miller and Taylor Mikesell, and a successful trip to the free-throw line from Mikesell made it 19-15, making the best of a slow first quarter for the Buckeyes.

Indiana junior forward Mackenzie Holmes and senior guard Nicole Cardano-Hillary scored the Hoosiers’ first points of the second quarter to increase the lead to 23-15. Ohio State junior guard Hevynne Bristow hit a basket to make it a six-point game, but Indiana responded with a Cardano-Hillary three-pointer and a layup from senior guard Grace Berger to increase the lead to nine points, 28-19.

Holmes and Cardano-Hillary dominated throughout the first half, finishing with a combined 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting. The rest of Indiana’s roster had just 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

Ohio State attempted to close the gap a number of times, including a basket from junior forward Rebeka Mikulasikova to make it 29-25, as well as a three-pointer from sophomore guard Kateri Poole to make it 36-28, but the Hooisers responded every time, never letting their lead fall to fewer than four points.

While the first half was not easy for Ohio State, down 43-29 at the break, the remainder of the game was made more difficult given some late fouls by Poole and junior guard Jacy Sheldon, who each finished the first half with three fouls.

The Buckeyes came out of the locker room with some juice, scoring five early points to make it 43-34, but a pair of turnovers and a missed shot by Poole gave momentum back to the Hoosiers.

From that point on, Indiana went on a 24-12 run to end the third quarter, holding the Buckeyes to 7-of-19 shooting and forcing five turnovers during that stretch. The Hoosiers, meanwhile, got nine points from Berger, who finished with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

The Buckeyes threatened to make things interesting early in the fourth, opening the frame on a 9-2 run to make it 69-55 with 7:33 remaining, but a pair of Hoosier buckets on back-to-back possessions squashed any hopes of a comeback, with Indiana eventually finishing the contest up 86-66.

Sheldon finished as Ohio State’s leading scorer with 23 points on 9-of-24 shooting, while Poole led with seven assists, and Mikulasikova had a team-high seven rebounds. Holmes led the Hoosiers with 30 points.

Ohio State will take the court next on Wednesday to host Alabama State at 7 p.m.

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