Tuesday, March 05, 2013 11:26 pm
No. 14 Buckeyes pull away from No. 2 Indiana 67-58
By MICHAEL MAROTAP Sports Writer
Thomas finished with 18 points and Craft added 15 as the Buckeyes (22-7, 12-5 Big Ten) won their fourth straight.
Indiana had big plans for Senior Night.
After clinching a share of its conference league title in 11 years with losses by Michigan State and Wisconsin on Sunday, the Hoosiers (25-5, 13-4) were trying to claim their first outright Big Ten crown since 1993. They will have another chance Sunday at No. 7 Michigan.
Cody Zeller scored 17 points and Christian Watford added 12 but the Hoosiers weren't themselves.
Ohio State retook the lead midway through the second half when Indiana went more than 5 minutes without a basket, took control with the late run and never allowed the Hoosiers to get closer than six points.
Ohio State has won four straight.
The Hoosiers lost for the second time in three games and for the second time at home this season.
Much of it had to do with Ohio State not allowing the Hoosiers to get in sync offensively.
Part of the problem early was foul trouble. Victor Oladipo spent the final 11 minutes of the first half on the bench after picking up his second foul and Zeller wen to the bench 6 minutes later when he was called for his second foul.
But that didn't account for Indiana's uncharacteristic game.
The Buckeyes made things tough inside and never allowed the Hoosiers to pull ahead. Instead, Ohio State continually quieted a crowd that seemed ready to party from the moment it entered Assembly Hall.
Neither team led by more than three points until Watford hit a 3-pointer with 4:47 left in the first half to give the Hoosiers a 25-21 lead. It didn't last long.
Ohio State scored the final seven points of the half, ending the run with Craft's three-point play with 1:08 to go that gave the Buckeyes a 28-25 lead.
And after Indiana opened the second half by scoring the first five points, making its first five shots and taking a 39-34 lead, the Buckeyes answered again. This time they went on a 14-4 run to take a 48-43 lead with 9:47 to go.
Indiana rallied one more time, as Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell ended the Hoosiers long scoring drought by driving in for consecutive layups, turning the second into a three-point play that cut the deficit 50-48 with 7:07 to go.
But Craft and Thomas scored the first nine points in the late run that gave Ohio State a 61-50 lead with 3:15 to play.