Indiana’s poor perimeter defense from the Northern Iowa and Penn State games carried over as the Hoosiers allowed Ohio State to shootÂ 68 percent from beyond the arc in an 85-67 New Yearâ€™s Eve loss. In total, the Buckeyes (14-0, 1-0) hit 13 threes, 10 of which came from Diebler and Buford combined.
â€œThey beat you on the pass more than anything else,â€ Indiana (9-6, 0-2) coach Tom Crean said after the game. â€œIt all starts with Jon Diebler because heâ€™s as good of a shooter as there is in the country. The ball continually finds him back because of the way he finds other people.â€
The 13 three-pointers by the Buckeyes tied for the most in Assembly Hallâ€™s 39-year history.
â€œThereâ€™s no excuse for us. We gave them a lot of unchallenged shots,â€ sophomore forward Christian Watford said. â€œAnybody can make those type of shots.â€
Buford led the Buckeyes with 24 points, while Diebler dropped in 15 – all from three-point land. Star freshman Jared Sullinger continued his dominance for OSU with 19 points and nine rebounds, further making him the favorite for both Big Ten Freshman of the Year and National Freshman of the Year.
â€œWe donâ€™t have a player that can just go down there and guard Sullinger,â€ Crean said. â€œWe had a game plan and when heâ€™s getting baskets, itâ€™s because weâ€™re not following the game plan.â€
In one bright spot for the Hoosiers, the team shot 50 percent from the field for the night. Christian Watford recovered from a dismal three-point performance on Monday night against Penn State to score 17 points. Freshman Victor Oladipo was the sparkplug for the IU offense, chipping in 14 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Indiana was equipped with only one big man for the final 10 minutes of play, as both Tom Pritchard and Derek Elston fouled out early in the second half. The Hoosiers continued to struggle to get to the charity stripe, awarding Ohio State to 38 foul shots, compared to their own 14 free throws.
Next up for the Hoosiers, the team will head to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on Tuesday to face Tubby Smith’s No. 14 Golden Gophers of Minnesota.