Saturday's Big Ten: Liddell’s 19 points power No. 4 Ohio St over Indiana 78-59
Columbus, Ohio — With a rout of Indiana, No. 4 Ohio State has won six straight and nine out of the last 10, and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee on Saturday projected the Buckeyes as a No. 1 seed in the tournament next month.
Without a superstar performer, Ohio State (17-4, 11-4 Big Ten) has gotten there with a hustling style of play that has become its identity — good shooting, aggressive rebounding on both ends, multiple role players contributing and making fewer mistakes than its opponents.
E.J. Liddell scored 19 points and Justice Sueing had 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Buckeyes pulled away to beat the Hoosiers 78-59 on Saturday. They shot 48% and scored 21 points off Indiana’s 15 turnovers.
“Gifted and versatile offensive players, and I think they bought in to playing together,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said after eight of his players scored against Indiana, and Sueing and freshman Zed Key combined for 18 rebounds.
Trace Jackson-Davis scored 23 points and Jerome Hunter added 10 to pace Indiana (11-9, 6-7), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped.
“We got worked on the boards,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “Second-chance points was 20 (for the Buckeyes). We are not going to be able to play with 15 turnovers. Ohio State deserves all the credit today. They imposed really physically. Just a different way for us to feel in a game. We have to learn from it and move on.”
Backed by a 21-3 run over eight minutes, Ohio State led 38-28 at halftime while forcing eight turnovers, including three early by guard Armaan Franklin. The Buckeyes led by as many as 16 in the half, but an 11-0 run by the Hoosiers kept it from getting away.
An emphatic dunk by Jackson-Davis ignited the Indiana bench and got the Hoosiers back to within five points with 14:11 left, but a 9-0 Ohio State run pushed the lead back up and the Buckeyes continued to roll as Indiana developed foul trouble.
“We felt good that we were able to extend that lead against a quality team,” Holtmann said. “I just thought we played with maturity, and played with maturity with the lead.”
More Big Ten
►(At) No. 25 Rutgers 64, Northwestern 50: Ron Harper Jr. had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Myles Johnson controlled the paint with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Johnson scored all 12 of his points in the first half on 5-of-6 shooting. Jacob Young added 13 points for Rutgers (12-7, 8-7 Big Ten), and Caleb McConnell had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Anthony Gaines and Chase Audige each scored scored 11 points for Northwestern (6-12, 3-11) . The Wildcats have lost 11 games in a row after a 6-1 start.