Ohio State clobbers Minnesota

RUSTY MILLER AP Sports Writer Published:

COLUMBUS (AP) -- No. 18 Ohio State played great defense, there's no question about it.

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."

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 and LaQuinton Ross 10 for the Buckeyes, who have won the last six meetings with the Golden Gophers overall and the last six in Columbus.

"After the Wisconsin game, we felt bad about everything we did," said Scott, who added five assists, three steals and three blocked shots in 26 minutes.

In the wake of the loss at Wisconsin -- which several Buckeyes called "an embarrassment" -- Matta had his staff put together an inspirational videotape of a speech by the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Lewis. In it, Lewis -- in graphic terms -- made the point that it was up to individuals to get motivated.

"It's all on you to get a great effort," Thomas said.

The message was simple, Scott said: "Just to be ready at all times. Don't take anything for granted."

Thomas had just two points (on 1 of 5 shooting from the field) in the opening 16 minutes. But then he gained his footing and starting making shots.

After producing five late points which helped the Buckeyes gain a 29-23 halftime lead, he started the second half with a 3 from the left wing. He later dropped back behind the line after sitting a pick and took a pass from Craft for another 3 and a 37-28 lead.

Andre Hollins hit a 15-foot jumper from the left side for Minnesota with 16:15 left -- but the Gophers didn't have another field goal until Oto Osenieks banked in a short shot with 5:36 left.

During Ohio State's 16-0 run, Thomas and Shannon Scott each had six points, with LaQuinton Ross and Evan Ravenel each adding baskets.

"Coach (Matta) said, 'They're getting tired,'" Thomas said. "We were stopping them. We had to punch it down their throat."

By the end of the spurt, the Buckeyes were well in command.

Hollins had 11 points and Osenieks 10 for Minnesota, which had a season-high 24 turnovers and shot just 29 percent from the field (14 of 48).

Matta praised his defense, but then added, "But they went cold. They had some good looks at the basket that didn't go down."

It was one of the largest margins ever for the Buckeyes in the series, rivaling the all-time biggest difference of 31 in the March 14, 1992, game (94-63).

Osenieks was reminded that this is the second year in a row that the Golden Gophers have gotten off to a fast start but then faded. This year, they got as high as No. 8 after winning 15 of their first 16 games.

"Yeah, but we're going to get over this," he said. "We're going to learn from our mistakes in the past. We'll make changes. We'll get over it."

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes were just pleased to be back on the winning track.

"We just wanted to win, really," Scott said. "We definitely needed that. We'd lost three of four games, so getting back on the winning side was really good for us. Beating them by as many as we did was just extra for us."

NO. 9 KANSAS 68, NO. 14 OKLAHOMA STATE 67, 2 OT

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Naadir Tharpe connected on a short jumper in the lane with 16.5 seconds left in the second overtime, lifting No. 9 Kansas to a 68-67 win over No. 14 Oklahoma State.

Travis Releford scored 18 points and Jeff Withey had three double-overtime free throws among his 17 points for the Jayhawks (22-4, 10-4 Big 12), who are tied with No. 13 Kansas State for the conference lead with five games to go. Kansas has had at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title for each of the past eight years, but that streak was in jeopardy against the surging Cowboys.

Markel Brown scored 20 points to lead Oklahoma State (19-6, 9-4), which had won seven straight -- including snapping the Jayhawks' 33-game home winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse earlier this month.

NO. 8 SYRACUSE 84, PROVIDENCE 59

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- James Southerland scored 20 points, Michael Carter-Williams had 15 points and 12 assists, and Syracuse won its 38th straight at home.

The Orange (22-4, 10-3 Big East) have the longest active streak in Division I and moved into a tie with Marquette and No. 11 Georgetown atop the conference standings. C.J. Fair had 20 points and 10 rebounds, his ninth double-double of the season, and Brandon Triche scored 14 points for Syracuse.

Providence (14-12, 6-8) had won four straight Big East games, including triumphs over then-No. 17 Cincinnati and then-No. 21 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Providence guard Vincent Council had 15 points and seven assists to become the all-time Big East assist leader with 431.

NO. 11 GEORGETOWN 90, DEPAUL 66

WASHINGTON -- D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored a career-high 33 points -- the most by any Georgetown player this season -- and the Hoyas moved back into a tie for first place in the Big East.

Smith-Rivera went 10 for 12 from the field, 8 for 10 from the free-throw line and made 5 of 6 3-pointers.

Nate Lubick added 15 points, and Jabril Trawick had 13 as the Hoyas (20-4, 10-3) pulled away with a 15-4 run at the end of the first half en route to their eighth straight win. Georgetown shot 63 percent and scored a season-high in points, pulling into a tie with Syracuse and Marquette atop the conference.

Brandon Young scored 16 points to lead the Blue Demons (11-15, 2-11), who have lost 12 in a row to Georgetown and 40 straight to Top 25 teams.

NO. 19 WISCONSIN 69, NORTHWESTERN 41

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each scored 12 points, and Wisconsin shut down Northwestern for its 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 very businesslike performance. Brust, who missed the last two days of practice with a sore left knee, and Berggren also had eight rebounds apiece as Wisconsin enjoyed a 47-22 edge on the boards.

Reggie Hearn scored 13 for Northwestern (13-14, 4-10), which has dropped four in a row and six of seven. The Wildcats, who have lost four players to season-ending injuries, went 8 for 24 from 3-point range, but managed just seven field goals from inside the arc.

NO. 21 MEMPHIS 81, HOUSTON 74

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Adonis Thomas scored 22 points, Chris Crawford had 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as Memphis won its 17th straight.

Thomas also had eight rebounds and Crawford finished one assist shy of a triple-double as the Tigers (23-2, 12-0 Conference USA) held on through a final flurry by the Cougars. Tarik Black scored 15 points, while D. J. Stephens had 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 10 rebounds for Memphis. Joe Jackson also scored 11 points with six assists.

Joseph Young led the Cougars (15-10, 4-8) with 22 points, while TaShawn Thomas added 20 points. Danuel House scored 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting as Houston lost its second straight and third in the last four.

MAC

OHIO 73, EASTERN MICHIGAN 50

ATHENS -- Reggie Keely scored 20 points and D.J. Cooper turned in his fifth double-double of the season as Ohio downed Eastern Michigan 73-50 in Mid-American Conference action.

Keely was 8-of-12 shooting, while Cooper had 16 points, 10 assists and five steals. Nick Kellogg added nine points and Ivo Baltic had eight points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats (20-6, 11-2), who have won 12 of their past 13.

The win was Ohio's 19th consecutive in home MAC games. The Bobcats had 23 assists, upping their team average, which was tops in the country at 18.7.

Ohio hit its first seven shots and led 17-3.

The Eagles (12-14, 5-7) were coming off their first road win of the season, 56-50 over Ball State. J.R. Sims paced Eastern Michigan with 12 points as the team shot 27.6 percent (16 of 58), including 29.4 percent (5 of 17) from 3-point range.

OHIO COLLEGES

KINGSTON, R.I. -- Travis Taylor grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds en route to his eighth double-double of the year as Xavier won 55-42 at Rhode Island.

Taylor added 13 points and Semaj Christon had 16 on 8-of-8 free-throw shooting for the Musketeers (16-10, 9-4 Atlantic 10 Conference).

Xavier trailed 33-32 with 14:44 left when Christon made two free throws to spark a 10-0, nearly 6-minute run. After allowing five quick points, the Musketeers held Rhode Island to just one free throw from the 7:49 mark until allowing a made jumper with 23 seconds remaining.

Xavier improved to 2-7 this season when scoring fewer than 60 points.

The Rams (8-17, 3-9) dropped their sixth straight and 18th of 19 in the rivalry. Xavier Munford recorded 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting, including a 3-of-12 showing from 3-point range. Rhode Island shot just 24.1 percent (13 of 54) and was 5-of-30 shooting from deep.

WRIGHT STATE 50, CLEVELAND STATE 41

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Matt Vest scored 12 points, including a 3-pointer for a 10-point lead with 3:27 remaining, and Wright State defeated Cleveland State 50-41 in a Horizon League game.

Jerran Young had 11 points and eight rebounds, and A.J. Pacher scored 10 for the Raiders (18-9, 9-5), who had not played since a 71-68 loss to Valparaiso on Feb. 12 that snapped a three-game winning streak.

Charlie Lee scored 12 points and Devon Long 10 for the Vikings (13-16, 5-10), who had snapped a three-game losing streak with an 88-67 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sunday.

Cleveland State took a 32-31 lead on Charlie Lee's two foul shots 4:58 into the second half, and neither team led by more than two points until Kendall Griffin's jumper pushed the Raiders ahead 36-33 with 7:44 left.

Wright State's bench outscored Cleveland State's 19-2.

OTHERS

IPFW 77, OAKLAND 71

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) -- Frank Gaines scored 17 points and Luis Jacobo had 15 as IPFW beat Oakland 77-71, snapping the Golden Grizzlies' seven-game winning streak.

IPFW (13-16, 6-9 Summit) trailed by one with about 4 minutes remaining before going on a 12-1 run. Jacobo nailed a 3-pointer and the Mastadons made 7 of 10 free throws during the spurt, which put them ahead 76-65 with 35 seconds remaining and helped them snap a 10-game losing streak against Oakland (15-14, 10-5).

Jacobo also had nine rebounds for IPFW and Joe Reed added 14 points.

Travis Bader led Oakland with 23 points but was just 2 of 10 on 3-point attempts. He came into the game leading the country with 123 3-pointers this season. As a team, the Grizzlies were 5 for 20 beyond the arc and just 16 for 29 at the free-throw line.

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