BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Ohio State coach Thad Matta couldn’t believe his eyes Saturday.
The Buckeyes lacked effort in the first half, couldn’t execute in the second and continued to blow chances late. Eventually, all the mistakes caught up to them.
Troy Williams finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds as Indiana held off one last charge from No. 22 OhioState for a 69-66 win.
“We short-armed a ton of shots. I thought we had great looks,” Matta said. “I thought defensively, we hit a stretch where we weren’t playing at the level we needed to play at with the guys we had on the floor.”
Indiana (12-4, 2-1) took full advantage of the Buckeyes’ problems, less than a week after their most embarrassing loss of the season at Michigan State.
With Shannon Scott scoring 16 points and D’Angelo Russell finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds, the Buckeyes somehow got themselves back into the game after trailing 61-51 with 3:32 to go.
Ohio State (13-4, 2-2) used a 13-4 spurt to close the deficit to 65-64 on Sam Thompson’s putback with 32 seconds left. But Thompson couldn’t complete the three-point play, which would have tied it, and Russell’s long 3 to force overtime was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
“We didn’t do all the little things — we are down three and we foul with a minute or whatever and we just said ‘don’t foul, just stay solid’ — and now we are down five,” Matta said. “Those are the types of plays you have to stay sound.”
The Hoosiers learned that the hard way earlier this week.
On Saturday, they looked like they had something to prove.
Williams delivered three highlight plays including one sequence when he dunked the ball on a fast break, then raced to the other end and swatted away an Ohio State shot. Freshman shooting star James Blackmon Jr. scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half.
A year ago, the Hoosiers repeatedly allowed late leads to slip away.
This time, after nearly blowing away a 10-point lead in the final 3 1/2 minutes, they showed they could hang on thanks to four free throws from Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell in the final 21 seconds.
Indiana now has more wins (18) over ranked teams since 2011-12 than any school in the nation except Kansas.
“I think they learned a lot this week,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said, referring to the 20-point loss Monday night at Michigan State. “We’ve been getting mentally tougher all year, but it’s not consistent yet. I thought our talk improved during the game. I thought our leadership improved during the game.”
Ohio State: Starting forward Marc Loving went down underneath the basket in the first half and stayed on the floor through two full possessions, reaching for his left knee. He eventually limped to the bench, iced the knee, limped back out after halftime before returning to the game. He still wasn’t himself, finishing with seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. The Buckeyes said he had a bruise.
Indiana: It took Indiana five minutes to figure out how to defend Ohio State. Then the Hoosiers clamped down. After allowing the Buckeyes to make four of their first nine shots, they limited Ohio State to 19 of 58 shooting, 32.7 percent, the rest of the game. The Buckeyes also finished 3 of 21 on 3s (14.3 percent).
Ohio State: Host Michigan on Tuesday.
Indiana: Host Penn State on Tuesday.
ON THE REBOUND
Since Crean arrived in Bloomington, he has emphasized the need to play defense and win the rebounding battle. The Hoosiers dominated both areas Saturday. In addition to the big defensive showing, Indiana had a 48-39 edge on the glass. On one possession, Indiana actually had five shots.
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