That wasn’t very fun, now was it?
Ohio State played well for stretches of this game against Indiana, but were unable to string enough runs on offense while stopping Indiana on defense. It wasn’t any one person that beat the Buckeyes, even though Oladipo and Zeller combined for 50 points (it felt like 150). But when those two were not involved in a play, someone else stepped up and hit a clutch shot just when it seemed like Ohio State was clawing its way back in to the game. I seemed like no one was going to miss, ever.
It’s extremely hard to defeat a team that’s “hot.” Sometimes it’s not your day. Sometimes both of those things happen and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Indiana was the better team today and made the most of their opportunities. This is a good team and I still hate them oh-so-very-much.
Victor Oladipo is the worse kind of opponent — he’s so dang good but doesn’t do any of those things that make him easy to hate. He doesn’t preen, he doesn’t whoop it up after a made basket, he just gets the job done and gets back on defense. I don’t mind a player that is passionate, but so many take it over the top that it makes them easy to hate. But Oladipo is a heck of a player and may be the best player in the B1G. I really hope he considers ALL his NBA options at the end of the season.
Ohio State struggled all game long with a couple of refs with itchy whistle fingers and were taken out of their game early because of it. It was obvious they were going to be physical with Indiana and make them earn every open look off a screen. But when Buckeyes started getting in foul trouble they were forced out of that physicality and had to be tentative on defense, to the detriment of the physical play.
Deshaun Thomas led the way 26 but only Craft had more than 11, chipping in 16 of his own. LaQuinton Ross seemed to regress a little this game, which hopefully is only a blip and not a preview of things to come.
Indiana is a great team at the top of a really good conference. Ohio State played two of the top three teams in the nation and played toe-to-toe with both of them, proving they belong in the conversation. They’ll have one more chance to take the Hoosiers down in Bloomington, but it won’t be easy.