The winning ways are back. The Ohio State Buckeyes pulled off a big road victory against the Indiana Hoosiers behind a 15-point performance from Andre Wesson.
Ohio State, who appeared as a No. 9 seed in Jerry Palm’s (CBS Sports) bracket projection, now ride a three-game winning streak. After a 1-6 January, the Bucks seem to be back on the right track.
After collecting only six points in the last game against Penn State, Kaleb Wesson scored 10 points against the Hoosiers. Working shots inside, the Buckeye big man was 5-of-9 from the field. Wesson, a regular in foul trouble, was only whistled three times.
Luther Muhammad secured nine points along with two assists. The leading scorer last time out, he had the fourth most points on the team behind Andre (15), C.J. Jackson (10) and Kaleb (10).
Let's take a look at how this one went down in Assembly Hall.
In front of a packed audience of 17,222, the Buckeyes won the opening tip. Muhammad missed the first shot of the game, and moments after that, Kaleb Wesson committed the first foul of the game. On the brightside: Andre Wesson made the first basket with 18:43 left on the clock.
Thanks to an Andre turnover, Justin Smith capitalized with a bouncing shot off the rim from the free throw area to tie the game at 2-2.
An all-around attack from OSU paced them on a 9-0 run, and a very early 11-2 lead. Muhammad connected on a three, and a layup thanks to a Juwan Morgan TO; Kaleb took a basket via layup; and Andre Wesson, like his brother, made a two-pointer via layup.
Romeo Langford broke up the OSU scoring spree with a three-pointer. Then, following a bad pass from Kyle Young, Langford dunked the ball home. Another turnover—this time by Duane Washington—led to to a Devonte Green bucket. At the under-12 media timeout, OSU held the slim advantage at 11-9.
Ohio State pulled their lead to as many as nine, but the Hoosiers came clawing back—a theme of the first half. Turnovers from Kaleb Wesson, Jaedon Ledee and C.J. Jackson were part of the reason for OSU’s offense going stale for a few minutes, and coupled with IU baskets, made the game within a possession at the break, 23-21.
Another reason for why OSU’s lead shrunk: the Buckeyes closed out the first half with five missed shots.
To begin the second half, Kaleb committed another TO; Smith made the Bucks pay, as he took advantage of a second-chance opportunity. Wesson would atone for his mistake on the other end with a layup on the next possession.
Ohio State would get hot, though, as a pair of missed three-pointers by IU led to Kaleb making a layup, and Muhammad knocking down a three of his own. Andre and C.J. would make shots too, and at the under-16 media break, OSU was back up by nine.
But like the first half, turnovers helped give the Hoosiers life. A bad pass from Jackson led to De’ron Davis capitalizing for two. However, with IU within four, Jackson popped a three from the center of the arc to give Ohio State a seven-point, 39-32, lead.
Washington Jr. would then make a three to give OSU 42 points. That’d be all the scoring Holtmann’s squad could muster for four minutes. In that timespan, Langford made a layup and the Hoosiers close the gap (again) heading into the under-8 timeout.
Right out the mini break, Langford went up for a layup on Kaleb, and the result was a knee to Kaleb’s lower midsection as Langford drove to the basket. On the same sequence, Andre got the rebound, but injured his hand in the process as the Hoosiers tried to swipe the ball. Young subbed in for Kaleb Wesson, as Andre stayed in the game.
Keeping Andre in the game was huge, as he drained a three from the far wing. In the rebuttal possession, Langford connected on a wide open three on the near wing to bring the score to 47-41 in favor of the visitors.
The next two series were unkind to Andre. He missed a three, and then was called for traveling. In response, the Hoosiers made two deep three-pointers—tying the game at 47-47. IU strung together a 9-0 run in just under 90 seconds.
After another travel—this time on Muhammad—the Hoosiers had a chance for their first lead of the game. Langford’s layup attempt didn’t go swish, and on the opposite end, Musa Jallow went for a circus, underneath-the-basket layup that was way off target. The comedy of mistakes continued as the Hoosiers’ Green turned the ball over to Andre Wesson.
Wesson and the Bucks got a timeout on the steal. After the commercials aired, OSU took the ball up the floor, and thanks to a second-chance effort by Andre after a Keyshawn Woods miss, the Buckeyes had the lead at 49-47. The lead was short lived; Rob Phinisee had a layup that kissed the high part of the glass before dropping in.
Phinisee wasn’t done making plays just yet. After a steal, Green hit a three with the shot clock ticking away to give IU their first lead of the game, 52-49. On the rebuttal, and with the shot clock down to two, Jackson uncorked a triple from what seemed like the parking lot. He nailed it—tying the contest at 52-52.
IU called a timeout, and on the ensuing inbound, Morgan turned the ball over to Andre Wesson. After Holtmann burned a timeout and made a substitution, Andre dunked the ball. Ohio State held the 54-52 advantage with 20 seconds remaining.
Langford attempt a deep (and contested) three with 12 seconds left—missing it. Muhammad got the rebound before being fouled. He made one of two free throws, and a desperation three from Green at the buzzer was off the mark.
Up next for OSU will be Illinois. The Bucks won the earlier matchup this season 77-67 on Dec. 5, 2018. The grudge match is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. ET.