Ohio State (27-7) opened it up in the second half, finally putting away a pesky Minnesota Gopher team 90-61. This is Ohio State’s third Big Ten tournament championship and it was hard earned.
Ohio State hit a 37-foot buzzer beater to beat rival Michigan, then went through a grueling double overtime to finally put away Illinois. It finally met with red-hot Minnesota in the finals, a team desperately needing a win to secure its NCAA berth.
The Buckeyes took a 33-30 lead into the half, as both teams trudged through the first half with turnovers and sloppy play. The second half yielded runs by both teams, but it was Ohio State that finally broke it open midway through the second half.
David Lighty was the main reason for the Buckeye victory today. He went coast to coast on back-to-back plays scoring and getting the rebound on defense. This burst of energy just shows you this Buckeye team is built to run, even if that means all weekend long.
Lighty finished with 20 points, but got plenty of help from his Buckeye teammates. William Buford put in 13 points in another solid performance on his part.
Jon Diebler broke the record for most three pointers in yesterday’s game against Illinois; he also joined the 1000-point club. For his encore today he went 5-11 from behind the arc for 19 points as he caught fire in the second half.
Evan Turner finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds as the games leader in both categories. Turner won the Big Ten tournament MVP as he continues to collect hardware this season.
Ohio State shot 58 percent and 57 percent from three-point range on its way to claiming the Big Ten crown. Ohio State will await the selection committee to see where it lands, but a No. 2 seed in the Mid-West region seems likely right now.