Buckeyes looking to bounce back in Bloomington
Ohio State is looking to get back on track after coming up short against another unranked opponent on the road.
Coach Thad Matta’s team will try to avoid another letdown against Indiana, which has taken down three straight Top 25 teams at home.
The No. 22 Buckeyes figure to have their guard up as they go for a fifth win in six visits to Bloomington on Sunday.
Ohio State (22-7, 9-7 Big Ten) had won three straight and six of seven before falling 65-63 at Penn State on Thursday. The Buckeyes were outrebounded 34-25 and shot 42.6 percent, going 5 of 17 from 3-point range.
LaQuinton Ross scored 19 while shooting 4 of 12, and floor leader Aaron Craft had 10 points with five turnovers in 19 foul-plagued minutes. Ohio State had a chance to win it at the end but Lenzelle Smith Jr. missed a 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds left.
"It was one of those games where two guys pound the ball off the backboard and it bounces out and they make a 3 on us. Little things like that is kind of the way the game went," Matta said.
"When we executed what we were supposed to do, it was amazing what happened. We didn’t have the flow that we normally do. That was the difference. We talked about it and talked about it. We couldn’t get it to where we needed it."
While the Buckeyes are 3-1 against Top 25 foes away from home, they have dropped three of their last four road games against unranked teams. They face another tough challenge against the Hoosiers (16-12, 6-9), who are more than capable of playing up to the level of their competition.
Indiana is coming off Thursday’s 93-86 home win over No. 20 Iowa, posting its highest scoring total in league play this season. Senior Will Sheehey led the way with a career-high 30 points, and freshman Stanford Robinson added a season-best 17 off the bench.
"We just finally said let’s play our game," Robinson said. "The way coach (Tom) Crean has been wanting us to play since day one. They’re a good running team, so we decided to just run back with them. Good things happen when we run.
"We have a lot of athletes on this team. Lot of people that can get out and run and jump high and do a lot of things. And Yogi (Ferrell) with the speed that he has and having Will, it creates a lot for a lot of other people."
The Hoosiers shot 51.7 percent and went 27 of 38 from the foul line, improving to 9-0 when getting more than 30 attempts.
"They’re getting better all the time. They’re trying to grow and improve constantly, and that’s exactly what we’re doing, and it showed that way tonight," Crean said. "They went above and beyond that tonight, and hopefully we can build on that."
While Indiana also beat then-No. 3 Wisconsin 75-72 on Jan. 14 and then-No. 10 Michigan 63-52 on Feb. 2 in Bloomington, the Buckeyes have given them problems there of late. Ohio State beat the then-No. 2 Hoosiers 67-58 last March for a fourth win in their last five meetings at Assembly Hall.
Craft, who had 15 points in that game, is averaging 13.8 while shooting 59.5 percent in his last four versus Indiana.