Monday, February 15, 2010
Buckeyes Tie Spartans for 1st in Big Ten with Win over Illini
No matter which team emerges from the logjam atop the Big Ten, the Ohio State Buckeyes have served notice that they will be a team to reckon with down the regular season stretch and into tourney time.
Heading into Sunday, the Buckeyes were tied with the Fighting Illini and Purdue at 9-3 in the conference, all 1/2 game back of 10-3 Michigan State. After a dominating first half which left the Buckeyes up 36-20 at the break, Ohio State stormed to a convincing 72-53 road win. Led by Evan Turner and his 16 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, the Buckeyes ended the day tied for first in the Big Ten.
Turner, who leads his team in points per game, assists, rebounds and steals, has established himself as a front-runner for Big Ten player of the year along with several national honors. The 6'7" junior swingman has posted 8 double-doubles and two triple-doubles this season.
Ohio State has a big week ahead, hosting Purdue on Wednesday and traveling to Michigan State on Sunday.
Notable: Unless you haven't heard, the Big East is a very tough conference. Just ask the players or coaches of Syracuse and Georgetown, each of whom suffered out-of-the-blue upsets at the hands of Louisville and Rutgers, respectively. Louisville ended the Orangemen's 11-game win streak and dropped them into second place (11-2) in the conference with a 66-60 win. Villanova leads at 11-1.
Georgetown's loss to Rutgers was more of a shock. The Scarlet Knights had won only twice in conference play before knocking off the Hoyas, 71-68.