College basketball: No. 1 Indiana bounces back, beats Ohio State
Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, left, shoots over Ohio State’s Evan Ravenel during the second half Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a stunning loss, the Indiana Hoosiers were on a mission to reaffirm just how good they were.
There was no questioning their ability Sunday.
Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 26 points, Cody Zeller added 24 and Christian Watford 20 to lead No. 1 Indiana back from a demoralizing loss to a huge road win in beating No. 10 Ohio State 81-68 Sunday.
“It was putting teams away, playing to win and not just playing for the time to run out,” Zeller said of the lessons learned from an upset loss at Illinois on Thursday. “So, we made that adjustment pretty well.”
Boy, did they. The Hoosiers (9-3 Big Ten, 21-3) dominated the second half while making some history and staying in the thick of the Big Ten race.
“We knew we let one get away from us,” Watford said. “At that point you just have to move on to the next one.”
The Hoosiers were coming off an epic collapse that might have caused the undoing of many teams. The Illini went on a 13-2 run to close the game, with Indiana turning the ball over late and then allowing an uncontested layup at the buzzer of a 74-72 shocker.
Less than three days later, they more than rebounded with a signature win in hostile territory.
The victory was Indiana’s first against a Top-10 conference opponent in more than 20 years – since a win in 1993 at Iowa. It was also the Hoosiers’ first win against any team in the top 10 on the road since beating Notre Dame in 2000.
“From the very beginning after we lost the other night, the biggest thing for our team was we were not going to spend a lot of our time worrying about bouncing back,” coach Tom Crean said. “I’m proud of the way these guys responded from a very tough loss.”
Indiana, now 3-0 against Top-10 teams this year, stayed in lock step with the leaders in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers are now tied with Michigan State (9-2) in the Big Ten standings. Michigan and Wisconsin are next at 8-3, followed by Ohio State at 7-4.
No. 4 Duke 62, Boston College 61: Mason Plumlee had 19 points and 10 rebounds, hitting the game-winning free throw with 26 seconds left to help No. 4 Duke rally from early and late deficits to beat host Boston College 62-61.
Seth Curry added 18 points for the Blue Devils, who watched the three teams above them in the AP Top 25 lose to unranked opponents this week – and then nearly joined them.
Olivier Hanlan scored 20 points for Boston College (2-8 ACC, 10-13). The Eagles led by five points with 2:15 left and had a chance to win it after Plumlee made one of two free throws but Hanlan’s jumper was wide and the rebound popped out of bounds as the buzzer sounded to end the game.
California 77, No. 7 Arizona 69: Allen Crabbe scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half, Justin Cobbs hit a big shot in the closing seconds and California held its composure down the stretch to knock off No. 7 Arizona 77-69.
Cal (6-5 Pac-12, 14-9) rallied from a 15-point deficit behind its defense against Arizona State Thursday before coming up just short in a 66-62 loss. The Bears did the same thing to Arizona, keying a big run that put them up 10 with their zone.
No. 9 Syracuse 77, St. John’s 58: James Southerland scored 13 points in his first appearance in seven games, C.J. Fair had 17 points and nine rebounds and No. 9 Syracuse beat St. John’s 77-58.
It was the 37th straight win in the Carrier Dome for the Orange (8-2 Big East, 20-3), extending the nation’s longest active home streak in Division I. The win also gave coach Jim Boeheim his 35th season with 20 or more victories.
St. John’s coach Steve Lavin missed the game because of the overnight death of his 82-year-old father, Cap, leaving the reins to assistant coach Rico Hines.
Illinois 57, No. 18 Minnesota 53: Tyler Griffey capped a terrific week for Illinois with 16 points, and the Fighting Illini went 11 for 23 from 3-point range in a 57-53 win over No. 18 Minnesota.
Three days after Griffey’s buzzer-beating layup gave Illinois (4-7, 17-8) a 74-72 victory over No. 1 Indiana, Tracy Abrams swished a step-back 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to stretch the lead over Minnesota to four. Abrams came off the bench for the first time this season after failing to score against the Hoosiers.