From the very beginning, this was not Ohio State's day. The Buckeyes were steamrolled in Bloomington by Indiana, 85-60, dropping their first game in Big Ten play this season. The Hoosiers showed no ill-effects in the wake of losing sophomore James Blackmon, Jr. for the season to a knee injury, improving to 4-0 in the conference.
Ohio State, which fell to 3-1 in the conference and 11-6 overall, went scoreless through the game's first five minutes, and Indiana jumped out to a 10-0 lead. It would only get worse.
Hoosiers' junior Troy Williams knocked down shots from the three-point line and got to the rim off the dribble, leading all scorers with 16 points in the first half. Senior Yogi Ferrell and freshman Thomas Bryant added 10 apiece.
Junior Marc Loving, who's eight first half points led the team, finally got the Buckeyes on the board with a sweeping layup on a dribble drive to the basket with just over 15 minutes left in the first half. Freshman JaQuan Lyle and sophomore Kam Williams both knocked down three-pointers in quick succession, but the Hoosiers continued to knock down shots inside and out.
The Buckeyes then endured a ridiculous nine minute stretch without a field goal, and the game was effectively over. Indiana took a 48-18 lead into the locker room.
The Hoosiers showed no signs of cooling off after the intermission, as Ferrell, Williams, Bryant, and junior Collin Hartman helped push the lead to 59-23.
Lyle started to get hot for Ohio State, though, scoring 14 points in the half's first nine minutes, and sophomore Keita Bates-Diop, who went scoreless against Northwestern on Wednesday, added six of his own. The Buckeyes trimmed the lead to 63-40 at the under-12 timeout.
Indiana never led by less than 21 throughout the second half, and had four players in double figures. Williams led the way with 23 points, Bryant had a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Ferrell added 16 points and a game-high 6 ssists. Lyle finished with 29 points, including 24 in the second half.
Three things we learned
1.) The D is the key. During its seven-game winning streak, Ohio State held opponents to 35 percent shooting from the floor and just under 60 points per game. When you play defense like that, a lot of offensive deficiencies can be hidden. Indiana shot nearly 50 percent on Sunday, and the Buckeyes simply didn't have the offensive firepower to keep up. Ohio State connected on less than 40 percent of its shots from the floor, and seemed to miss countless shots from close range.
2.) Growing pains on the road. This was just the third true road game Ohio State has played this season, and with such a young roster, some growing pains are to be expected. Much as was the case in December against Connecticut in Storrs, the atmosphere seemed too big for the Buckeyes. They turned the ball over 14 times, shot a miserable 39 percent from the floor, and never seemed to find a rhythm. It won't get any easier, either, as the scarlet and gray will be on the road against two of the best in the Big Ten, Maryland and Purdue, after a home tilt against Rutgers.
3.) KBD missing in action. Keita Bates-Diop is the second-leading scorer on the team, yet he's totaled just six points in the past two games. After going scoreless on just three shots against Northwestern, the sophomore from Normal, Illinois made a mere 2-for-8 from the floor on Sunday. A midseason slump isn't unheard of for a guy who didn't see a lot of minutes as a freshman, but if the Buckeyes hope to stay competitive in the Big Ten, they'll need Bates-Diop to push through this rough stretch.