Smith, Buckeyes handle Hoosiers, MInnesota wins
No. 5 Ohio State to a surprisingly easy 80-63 victory over seventh-ranked Indiana.
Jared Sullinger added 16 points, William Buford scored 12 and Deshaun Thomas had 11 for the Buckeyes (16-3, 4-2 Big Ten), who were coming off a loss at Illinois on Tuesday night. Several players questioned their teammates’ commitment and effort after that game.
There was no doubt about either on Sunday as Ohio State took command early and was never threatened.
Cody Zeller had 16 points, Christian Watford 13 and Jordan Hulls 11 for the Hoosiers (15-3, 3-3), who had lost at home to unranked Minnesota on Wednesday night.
Smith, who came in scoring about five points per game, erased almost every offensive high-water mark he had ever had in a game. He hit 10 of 12 shots from the field including 4 of 5 3-pointers. He also had seven rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The game was the first Indiana has played against another top 10 team since 2002 and the Hoosiers’ first visit to an opponent also ranked in single digits since 1992.
Earlier this week, Ohio State’s players vowed to pay back the Hoosiers for a 74-71 loss back on New Year’s Eve. In that game, the Buckeyes had 17 turnovers and 22 fouls. Sullinger got off just five shots from the field, Buford finished with eight points and Thomas scored just five points, due to foul trouble. In addition, point guard Aaron Craft had a career-high six turnovers.
Smith’s previous career best was 12 in that game. He had surpassed that with almost 3 minutes left in the opening half on Sunday.
The Buckeyes had the game well in hand throughout the second half after finishing the half on a 15-2 run.
Smith had 18 at the break while hitting 7 of 9 shots from the field including 4 of 5 from behind the arc.
The win was Ohio State’s 36th in a row at home, the second-longest streak in program history.
Ohio State’s new football coach, Urban Meyer, and his staff received a loud and lengthy ovation when introduced at halftime.
-- Minnesota 80, Penn State 66—At State College, Pa., Joe Coleman scored a career-high 23 points and Minnesota earned its second Big Ten win of the season.
The Golden Gophers (14-5, 2-4) built off their road upset of No. 7 Indiana by shooting 55.3 percent (21 of 38) from the field.
Coleman, who entered the contest averaging 4.5 points per game, was 5 of 8 from the field and 13 of 14 from the free-throw line.
Cammeron Woodyard came off the bench to score a career-high 22 points for Penn State (9-10, 1-5).
Minnesota led 33-31 at the break, then began the second half on an 11-2 run. The game was filled with fouls as the teams combined to take 72 free throws.
Last updated: 2:20 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012