After their loss last Thursday to Penn State, Jae’Sean Tate stressed the need to start games with the same intensity they have been ending games with.
“We’ve gotten away with coming out a little sluggish and tonight we finally couldn’t get back into it,” Tate said last Thursday. “We didn’t lose on that last shot. I mean Penn State, they played a great game, but we’ve just got to work on coming out with the same edge that we play with late in the second half.”
Tonight, against Indiana (12-11, 5-6) the Buckeyes came out swinging early, cruising past the Hoosiers 71-56 to improve to 19-5 and 10-1 in conference play.
Ohio State went on an early 10-0 run to take a 14-5 lead into the first media time out.
From the opening tip, the Buckeyes attacked the Hoosiers, who were without big man De’Ron Davis, inside the paint. The Scarlet and Grey would continue to control the first half, taking a 38-23 lead into the locker room at halftime, having scored 22 of its 38 points in the paint.
Ohio State would coast through the second half, only letting the lead shrink to 12 points on two separate occasions before winning by the final 15-point margin. The Buckeyes led by double digits for the final 31:17 of the game.
Without Indiana big man De’Ron Davis, freshman Kaleb Wesson scored 14 points, making all seven of his field goal attempts, and sophomore Micah Potter scored six points on three shots. In all, Ohio State scored 40 points in the paint on the evening.
Jae’Sean Tate paced the Buckeyes with 16 points on 7-10 shooting from the field. Junior Keita Bates-Diop struggled a bit with his shooting, going 5-13 from the field, but recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 13 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks.
Up next for the Buckeyes is Illinois, Sunday afternoon at 12:00pm at the Value City Arena. Illinois, 2-9 in conference play, is fresh off it’s first two Big Ten wins of the season after beating both Indiana and Rutgers at home.