Ohio State routs Minnesota for Big Ten championship

Evan Turner didn’t need any late-game heroics on Sunday.

When it appeared there was nothing more he could do to make his Big Ten tournament performance better, the junior had 31 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 5 Ohio State over Minnesota 90-61 on Sunday in the championship game.

Turner hit a 37-foot shot at the buzzer to beat Michigan in the quarterfinals, then scored 12 of his 31 points after regulation in a double-overtime win over Illinois in the semifinals. On Sunday, he set the tournament record for points in a championship game.

Ohio State (27-7) made nine 3-pointers in the second half to pull away after leading by just three points at halftime. David Lighty scored 20 points and Jon Diebler added 19 for the Buckeyes, who tied the record for largest victory margin in a Big Ten tournament game.

Lawrence Westbrook scored 17 points and Devoe Joseph added 14 for Minnesota (21-13), which had beaten Purdue by 27 on Saturday.

Turner did a little bit of everything. He made four 3-pointers and several acrobatic layups, and had six assists. After one layup, during which he was fouled, Ohio State fans started chanting M-V-P. He averaged 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists in the tournament.

Minnesota had won four straight games and seven of nine, but struggled defensively for the first time in the tournament. The Golden Gophers held their first three opponents to combined 36 percent shooting in the tournament, and had locked down Purdue in a 69-42 victory on Saturday. Ohio State shot 58 percent on Sunday.

Minnesota beat No. 11 Michigan State and No. 6 Purdue to reach the final. The sixth-seeded Golden Gophers were trying to become the second team to win four games in four days to win the title. Sixth-seeded Iowa did it in 2001.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Turner and Diebler gave the Buckeyes a 24-18 lead and forced Minnesota to call time out.

A steal and two-handed jam by Diebler gave the Buckeyes a 28-21 lead, but Minnesota came back with a 3-pointer by Joseph at the halftime buzzer to cut the Buckeyes‘ lead to 33-30. Both teams shot poorly for most of the first half, but warmed up toward the end.

The Buckeyes opened the second half with an 8-0 run. Three-pointers by Turner and Buford helped Ohio State take a 41-30 lead

Minnesota responded with a 7-0 spurt, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Joseph, to trim Ohio State‘s lead to 41-37 just over 4 minutes into the second half.

Turner hit another 3-pointer, then Lighty made consecutive layups to push the Buckeyes‘ lead back to 11 points midway through the second half, and the rout was on.