COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 18 Ohio State played great defense, but much of the blame for Minnesota’s lopsided 71-45 loss to the Buckeyes on Wednesday night stemmed from a world of mistakes by the Golden Gophers.
You get beat bad when you don’t make shots, coach Tubby Smith said. It’s a combination of shooting poorly and turning the ball over – that’s a perfect storm for getting beat.
Fort Wayne native Deshaun Thomas overcame a slow start to score 19 points and the Buckeyes used a 16-0 second-half run to wallop the offensively challenged Gophers.
We didn’t play perfect, but we kept pursuing the ball, kept moving, Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. A couple times in the first half we made mistakes, but we recovered from them. The thing I was most pleased with was, we just kept playing.
That had not been the Buckeyes’ modus operandi recently.
The teams came into the night in dire need of a Big Ten win. Both had lost three of their last four, and each was humiliated on the road on Sunday. The Golden Gophers (18-9, 6-8 Big Ten) were pounded at Iowa, 72-51, while Ohio State (19-7, 9-5) wasn’t a factor over the final 35 minutes in a 71-49 beatdown at Wisconsin.
We got knocked down, but it’s always good to pick yourself back up and regroup, Thomas said. We did that tonight.
Shannon Scott added 11 points for the Buckeyes.
No. 8 SYRACUSE 84, PROVIDENCE 59: In Syracuse, N.Y., James Southerland scored 20 points, Michael Carter-Williams had 15 points and 12 assists for the Orange.
Syracuse (22-4, 10-3 Big East) has won 38 straight home games, the longest active streak in Division I.
No. 11 GEORGETOWN 90, DEPAUL 66: In Washington, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored a career-high 33 points – the most by any Georgetown player this season – and the Hoyas (20-4, 10-3) moved back into a tie for first place in the Big East.
No. 19 WISCONSIN 69, NORTHWESTERN 41: In Evanston, Ill., Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each scored 12 points, and the Badgers got their fifth win in six games.
The balanced Badgers (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) had five players with at least eight points and held the Wildcats to 29 percent shooting during a businesslike performance.
Reggie Hearn scored 13 for Northwestern (13-14, 4-10).
No. 21 MEMPHIS 81, HOUSTON 74: In Memphis, Tenn., Adonis Thomas scored 22 points, Chris Crawford had 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as Memphis (23-2, 12-0 Conference USA) got its 17th straight win.
No. 7 PENN STATE 95, ILLINOIS 62: In State College, Pa., Maggie Lucas scored 22 points, Alex Bentley added 20 and the Nittany Lions overwhelmed the Illini, moving a step closer to a second straight Big Ten regular-season title.
SOUTH FLORIDA 73, No. 12 LOUISVILLE 62: In Louisville, Ky., Andrea Smith tied a career-high with 35 points.
INDIANA 62, No. 22 PURDUE 61: In Bloomington, Jasmine McGhee scored 26 points, including the game-winning shot with a second left, as the Hoosiers knocked off the Boilers for the first time since 2009.
Aulani Sinclair added 16 points and Sasha Chaplin had 10 for Indiana (11-15, 2-11 Big Ten). Purdue (19-7, 8-5) has dropped two in a row.
TCU 64, No. 23 OKLAHOMA STATE 63: In Forth Worth, Texas, Delisa Gross hit the game-winning shot with 1:04 remaining and the Horned Frogs closed the game on an 11-0 run to earn their first Big 12 win.