Buckeyes blow out Indiana for sixth-straight win

Spencer Holbrook7 months
NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Ohio State
E.J. Liddell and Ohio State earned another win Saturday. (Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State just keeps winning and proving its one of the best teams in the country.

The No. 4 Buckeyes used a huge first-half run, a clean offensive performance and a dominant second half to capture a 78-59 blowout win over Big Ten rival Indiana on Saturday inside the Schottenstein Center.

The Buckeyes (17-4, 11-4 Big Ten) have now won six consecutive games and nine of their last 10 games overall.

After totaling just seven points between the two in the Buckeyes last win on Monday night, E.J. Liddell and Justice Sueing combined for 35 points to carry the Buckeyes to yet another conference win and further push the idea of Ohio State as a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament next month. Along with the scoring ability of Liddell and Sueing, Ohio State used a balance effort and swarming defense to force Indiana into tough shots and back-breaking turnovers.

Ohio State has now won six straight games and is among the hottest teams in the country. Lettermen Row is breaking down the latest win over Indiana with Three Points on how they got it done.

C.J. Walker-Ohio State-Ohio State basketball-Buckeyes

Ohio State forced Indiana into turnovers that changed the game. (Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

Ohio State makes Indiana pay for turnovers

Ohio State hasn’t been great at forcing teams into turnovers this season, but the Buckeyes did just that Saturday afternoon — with the help of bad offense from Indiana. The Buckeyes forced 15 turnovers, often creating points off those turnovers. The Buckeyes used all those Indiana turnovers well, turning them into 21 points, enough to make a difference in the game. Three different Hoosiers had at least three turnovers, while the Buckeyes only had 10 as a team on the afternoon. Ohio State has done a good job taking care of the basketball during its six-game winning streak. If the Buckeyes can force turnovers and score off them like they did Saturday, they’ll remain in good position to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament next month.

Buckeyes use pair of runs to overmatch Indiana

Ohio State only trailed for a little more than two minutes in the entire game, and that was early in the first half. The Buckeyes used two huge runs, one in the first half and one in the second, to keep distance from Indiana and, ultimately, put the Hoosiers away. Midway through the first half, Ohio State used a massive 19-0 run to build a 15-point first-half lead they hung onto to take into the halftime break. And when the Hoosiers cut the lead to just five in the second half, the Buckeyes used a 9-0 run to push into a 14-point lead the Hoosiers couldn’t come back from. Holtmann’s team used a balanced scoring effort and good defense to bust the game open twice — once in each half — to grab the program’s sixth straight win and ninth victory in its last 10 games.

C.J. Walker-Ohio State-Ohio State basketball-Buckeyes

Ohio State is a porjected No. 1 seed right now. (Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

Buckeyes a No. 1 seed in NCAA committee release

While the Buckeyes were beating up on the overmatched Hoosiers, the NCAA Tournament selection committee announced the top 16 overall seeds with a month remaining before Selection Sunday. And the Buckeyes have impressed that committee enough to earn a presumptive No. 1 seed. Ohio State was listed as the No. 4 overall seed in the release, behind only Gonzaga, Baylor and Big Ten rival Michigan. The Buckeyes are winners of nine of their last 10 games, have eight Quad One wins — more than any other team in America — and have been dominant on both sides of the court. They also have won at home and on the road. The NCAA Selection Committee took notice, and the Buckeyes are in the mix for a No. 1 seed in next month’s tournament.