The first meeting between Indiana and Ohio State produced a woefully one-sided contest, 79-54, back on January 6 at Value City Arena.
Fast forward the calendar five weeks and the rematch was the same old story.
Too much Will Buford, Dallas Lauderdale and Evan Turner. No offensive cohesion. And not nearly the defensive intensity needed to be competitive.
The result: A fifth straight loss for Indiana – 69-52 – dropping the Hoosiers to 9-14 overall and 3-8 in the Big Ten.
“It was pathetic in a lot of ways,” Tom Crean told Don Fisher on the postgame radio show. “It was pathetic defensively. It’s inexcusable, but I don’t have a lot of avenues to go right now in the sense of making different decisions. But we will and we’ll be able to correct it and fix it as we move along.”
Through the first 12-plus minutes, Indiana looked like it might make a game of it. With Turner on the bench with two fouls, the Hoosiers were within one at 18-17.
Ohio State responded with a 16-3 run the last 7:48 of the half to grab a 34-20 halftime lead. And the Hoosiers never got within 12 the rest of the way.
“The margin for error against teams like that are so poor for us, but we don’t have any chance when we don’t play harder than that,” Crean said.
Buford finished with a game-high 21 points, Lauderdale added 14 points and eight rebounds and Turner, the front runner for Big Ten Player of the Year, had 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 21 minutes.
It was the eighth straight Big Ten win for Ohio State, moving the Buckeyes into a tie for first place.
Indiana, which shot just 37 percent from the field, got 15 points and seven rebounds from Christian Watford and 13 points from Jordan Hulls.