Ohio State’s Comeback Falls Short, Lose 96-92 to Indiana
On Marc Loving’s senior day, Ohio State couldn’t overcome it’s own lax defense and Indiana’s red hot offense as it drops the Big Ten regular season finale 96-92 at the Value City Arena.
Indiana raced out to an 11-0 lead with just 2:18 gone in the first half. The Hoosiers’ offense wouldn’t slow down, as they scored on 13 of their first 14 possessions. The lead grew to as large at 18 points at one point in the first half, with Ohio State down 54-40 at the half.
The Hoosier’s first half total was the highest given up by the Buckeyes at home since 2001 against Penn State.
Ohio State came out of the half with a 13-3 run and tied the game at 64 all with a Jae’Sean Tate layup with just under nine minutes to play.
Indiana would respond with their offense returning to it’s explosive form, going on a 10-1 run of their own to lead 76-69 with 6:07 remaining.
Despite their best efforts on offense, the Buckeyes couldn’t get muster another second half comeback. The closest the Buckeyes would get would be 94-92 with 3 seconds remaining before Marc Loving had to foul James Blackmon to close out the game.
Indiana’s 96 points are an Ohio State record by an opponent at the Value City Arena. All five Indiana starters would score in double figures, led by Robert Johnson with 26 points.
“They just kept going and going and going and going,” Matta said postgame. “I didn’t think we were as aggressive defensively as we needed to be.”
Jae’Sean Tate led the five Buckeyes in double figures with 20 points. Trevor Thompson contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds, while JaQuan Lyle put up 18 points off the bench.
With the loss, Ohio State will not receive a first round bye in the Big Ten tournament, opening on Wednesday against an unknown opponent. Nothing short of a miracle is needed for Ohio State to make the NCAA tournament, needing to win the Big Ten tournament outright at this point. Instead, the Buckeyes are likely looking at another trip to the NIT for a second consecutive season.
“We’ll take a look at this, find out who our next opponent is, when we, play, who we play. The only thing I know right now is it’s in Washington D.C.,” Matta said. “We’ve made some steady gains, I think, throughout the course of the last couple weeks but we’ve just got to find a way to keep playing the most consistent that we can.”