Ohio State Basketball: Buckeyes defend homecourt in win against Indiana

Ohio State basketball (14-7, 4-6 Big Ten) owned the glass and passed the ball well en route to handing the Indiana Hoosiers (15-7, 5-6 Big Ten) their third straight loss.

The Indiana Hoosiers and Ohio State Basketball needs to win and win now in order to make an NCAA Tournament push.

Indiana beat Ohio State basketball at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, 66-54, behind Davonte Green’s 19 points and five rebounds off the bench. Rob Phinisee scored 13 points, pulled down seven rebounds and stole the ball four times.

The Wesson brothers combined for 26 points and 17 rebounds in the loss for Ohio State. They needed to have solid games at home and a third player had to contribute big minutes in order to win this game. C.J. Walker, Kyle Young or Duane Washington were viable options for an X-factor performance.

Indiana shot 50 percent from the three-point line in the first meeting and did a great job of causing turnovers.

Will the three-point shots fall in Columbus?

Kaleb Wesson got the scoring started for the Buckeyes in the post by converting a hook shot and getting deep post position off of Indiana’s Joey Brunk. He got an easy two-hand slam on the latter play.

He had all six of the Buckeyes’ early points and asserted his dominance inside.

Indiana started the game with baskets from Phinisee, Brunk and Al Durham. The score was 9-7 Buckeyes under 16 minutes to go in the first half.

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 17-9 lead and they were passing the ball efficiently. They had six assists on seven made field goals.

Their lead grew to 12 points, 25-13 and Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with six points and four rebounds. They were shooting at 56 percent from the field under seven minutes left in the first half.

Despite struggling with turnovers once again, the Hoosiers managed to cut their deficit down to 10 points, 27-17, with 4:07 to go until halftime. Baskets from De’Ron Davis and Trayce Jackson-Davis helped them get there.

The Buckeyes went into halftime up 31-22 after Green threw up a half-court shot at the buzzer and it went down. That was his only made basket of the first half. Phinisee led the Hoosiers with five points.

Walker finished the first half as the Buckeyes leading scorer with seven points. Offensively, they struggled to get a rhythm going into the halftime break as they missed nine of their last 11 field goal attempts.

While Indiana shot the ball well from behind the three-point line (60 percent/3-of-5), they turned the ball over nine times.

Kyle Young converted an up and under move in the paint to get the Buckeyes on the board to start the second half. Phinisee countered with a three-pointer and Jackson-Davis got a layup inside.

Ohio State’s success in the paint happened as a result of their ball movement.

Indiana wasn’t backing down. They relied on their shooting from the outside to get them back in the game. They were 11-of-19 from out there at one point. For a moment, they were down 40-32 before Kaleb Wesson hit a right corner three.

Kaleb Wesson gave Ohio State basketball fans a nice sequence of hustle as he started the possession with the ball on the perimeter, drove to the paint, went up for a shot that was blocked and fought to bring it down and go back up for a layup in traffic.

On the Ohio State Buckeyes’ next possession, a three-pointer from Walker gave them a 48-37 lead with 11:19 left in the game.

Their lead increased to 58-40 after Justin Ahrens made back-to-back three-pointers. Ohio State out hustled the Hoosiers on the offensive glass as well. They had an 11-4 advantage when the game ended.

Ahrens pushed their lead to 61-45 advantage after his third three-pointer fell. With 5:19 to go, Ohio State had control of this game. The Ohio State Buckeyes earned their fourth Big Ten Conference victory with a final score of 68-59. The Wesson brothers combined for 25 points and 13 rebounds. Walker had 14 points and four assists. Phinisee was Indiana’s only double-figure scorer with 11 points.

The Buckeyes beat the Indiana Hoosiers because they won the rebounding battle 31-24 and had better ball movement and execution (19-10 assist advantage).

The Hoosiers have lost three in a row now and they play the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday at 2 pm ET. Ohio State plays Michigan Tuesday on ESPN2 at 7 pm ET.