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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 8:40 pm

Halftime thoughts: Poor shooting hampers Hoosiers

Dylan Sinn | The Journal Gazette

Ohio State 38, Indiana 23

In the first half in Columbus, Ohio State shot 63 percent. Indiana shot 33 percent. That more than anything tells the story of the first half. Nothing has come easy for the Hoosiers; even when they've gotten looks near the basket, they've been contested by at least one and usually two Buckeye defenders.

Ohio State has done an especially good job taking the ball out of Juwan Morgan's hands. The junior forward took just five shots in the first half as he was hounded every time he got the ball. It's a testament to how well he's playing right now that he finished with 11 points in the half anyway.

As good as the Buckeyes' defense has been, though, Indiana hasn't helped its own cause. The Hoosiers have taken a ton of shots early in possessions, many of which have been contested. Josh Newkirk took a couple of deep triples in the first few seconds of the shot clock that missed badly. 

On the other end of the floor, the Buckeyes have moved the ball well and made a concerted effort to get the ball inside. That effort has paid dividends as Ohio State has scored repeatedly near the basket. OSU has 22 points in the paint; they had 12 in the first five minutes of the game.

I've been particularly impressed with OSU's freshman big man Kaleb Wesson. He's very crafty in the post for such a young player and Indiana has had a tough time matching up with him. The 6-foot-9 Buckeye finished the half with a team-leading 10 points on 5 for 5 from the field, all of those baskets coming in the paint.

Indiana has done a decent job of containing Keita Bates-Diop, but he's been content to let his teammates do the scoring. The Big Ten's leading scorer has made a couple of nice passes and has three assists at the break.

dsinn@jg.net