It was meant to be a matchup of two improving teams who had overcome tough non-conference seasons, with both needing a win to show that their turnaround wasn’t a fluke. Instead, Assembly Hall was treated to a demolition derby as the Indiana Hoosiers obliterated the Ohio State Buckeyes 85-60.
For the first time in Big Ten play this season, the Hoosiers (14-3, 4-0) didn’t have to sweat one out as IU took control right from the tip with a 10-0 run. The bleeding never stopped for Ohio State in the first half as Indiana took a mind-blowing 48-18 lead into the half. The 30-point lead was the biggest halftime lead over a Big Ten team for the Hoosiers in over 20 years.
One of the biggest reasons behind the blowout was that Indiana dominated the boards, grabbing 50 rebounds with 17 of them coming on the offensive end. Those offensive rebounds helped the Hoosiers extended possessions and ultimately find better shots. IU finished with a ridiculous 32 second-chance points compared to Ohio State’s five.
“(It was the) mindset that we have in practice and then we just translated it into the game,” said Thomas Bryant, who led the team with 13 rebounds. He also had 18 points to give him his first double-double as a Hoosier.
However, there was another reason this win was easier for Indiana then its three prior Big Ten wins.
During IU’s first three conference games, both Troy Williams and Rob Johnson were non-factors on offense averaging a combined 8.7 points per game. Against the Buckeyes on Sunday, both players scored in double-figures.
Williams was locked in immediately as he took the ball to the rim for a layup on Indiana’s first possession. Williams stayed aggressive the rest of the game as he scored a team-high 23 points, which also matched his career high. Maybe even more impressive, he played like “Tornado Troy” but only committed one turnover.
“Troy played phenomenal with his head up,” said Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, who added 16 points and six assists himself. “I like his decision-making. He didn’t over-penetrate. I felt like he pick and chose his spots.”
Johnson scored 11 points but it was his passing that really got the Hoosiers going. While Johnson did dish out 11 assists during the IU’s first three Big Ten games, he also turned the ball over 13 times. Against Ohio State, Johnson recorded six assists to only one turnover.
“He’s not completely healthy and he has not been,” said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean about why Johnson had struggled previously. “But he’s working. You can’t keep him out of the gym. And I don’t practice him every day fully, but it doesn’t make any difference, he’s out there. And we’ve got to keep working through it.”
The Buckeyes (11-6, 3-1) had come in winning their last seven games, including a win over Kentucky, but they just couldn’t find their shot in the first half, hitting 28.0% (7 for 25) of their field goal attempts. Jaquan Lyle scored 24 of his game-high 29 points in the second half to try and make the score a little more respectable.
The Hoosiers will have the following work week off as their next game will be at Minnesota next Saturday at 12:30pm.
Stats From The Boxscore:
- How much of a beatdown did the Hoosiers give the Buckeyes in the first half? Just look at these categories IU had commanding advantages in:
- Points off turnovers: IU 17, OSU 4
- Second-chance points: IU 15, OSU 3
- Total Rebounds: IU 24, OSU 14
- Field Goal Percentage: IU 50%, OSU 28%
- Turnovers: OSU 11, IU 5
- By earning his first career double-double, Thomas Bryant also set a new career-high for rebounds with 13.
- Both Yogi Ferrell and Rob Johnson stuffed the statsheet. Ferrell had 16 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals while Johnson had 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
- OG Anunoby again provided a spark off the bench, providing 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals in 19 minutes.
- For the game, the Hoosiers only had 12 turnovers to the Buckeyes’ 14, marking the first time during conference play that Indiana had fewer turnovers then its opponent.
- Troy Williams scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half, which were almost as many as the Buckeyes scored during the first half (18 points).
- JaQuan Lyle actually did score more points in the second half (23) than his Buckeyes did in the entire first half. Lyle finished the game with just under half of Ohio State’s points.