Live Blog: Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament: Gophers v. No. 5 Ohio State

Marco LaNave

INDIANAPOLIS — With the way the Big Ten tournament has gone so far, the championship has got to be a good one.

Depending on who is asked, the Gophers may or may not be in the NCAA tournament entering their matchup with No. 5 Ohio State.

With a win over the top-seeded Buckeyes, though, Minnesota won’t have anything to worry about except their travel plans for next weekend.

The Gophers would receive an automatic bid to the Big Dance with their first-ever Big Ten tournament championship.

Final – Turner scored 31 points and added 12 rebounds to lead Ohio State to the championship. The Gophers will await the decisions of the selection committee, which will have to weigh what became a blowout loss before the bracket is announced at 5 p.m. Central Time (about a half hour from now). OHIO STATE 90, GOPHERS 61.

7:12 2nd – Ohio State has gone on 23-5 run a since the Gophers closed it to a two-point game. Lighty has scored nine points, Diebler has made a pair of 3-pointers, and Turner has scored eight points, including a 3-point play he just completed. OHIO STATE 65, GOPHERS 45.

11:59 2nd – The Gophers closed the lead to two points on a 3-pointer by senior guard Devron Bostick. Minnesota has already been called for five fouls in the half, and Westbrook and Johnson each sit on the bench with three. OHIO STATE 44, GOPHERS 40.

15:47 2nd – After the Buckeyes scored eight straight to start the half, the Gophers have answered with the last seven following a timeout a little over two minutes ago. Westbrook has been called for two fouls while defending Turner on the last two Ohio State possessions. He just came toward the Minnesota huddle with his arms out, saying “I’m not touching him.” OHIO STATE 41, GOPHERS 37.

Halftime – Even when Ohio State took a game-high seven-point lead to get its crowd into it a few moments ago, Minnesota looked as calm as it has all weekend. Carter hit a jumper over Turner. After Diebler made a 3-pointer, Westbrook missed one on the other end, but Bostick came out of nowhere for a one-handed dunk. Turner made a jumper in the lane, but then Joseph hit a straight-on 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer. Diebler has a game-high 10 points, and Turner has 9, which matches Westbrook’s total. Should be an interesting second half. OHIO STATE 33, GOPHERS 30.

3:21 1st – Westbrook has hit two 3-pointers in the corner near the Ohio State bench in response to each of a pair by the Buckeyes. Westbrook leads all players with nine points. OHIO STATE 24, GOPHERS 21.

7:46 1st – Minnesota has been able to match the Buckeyes’ physicality, but the Gophers haven’t had the hot shooting start of the previous three days, making only four of their first 13 shots. OHIO STATE 15, GOPHERS 13.

11:22 1st – Both teams have come ready for a physical game. Westbrook completed a 3-point play, but Turner answered with a jumper, and Lighty made a layup to extend the lead. OHIO STATE 10, GOPHERS 6.

15:35 1st – The Gophers scored first on a layup by Johnson off of a lob pass from Sampson, but they’ve missed their last four shots. Lauderdale made a left-hand hook shot over Sampson to tie it on the Buckeyes’ last possession. Diebler was just fouled by Johnson and will shoot two free throws out of the timeout. GOPHERS 2, OHIO STATE 2.

Starting Lineups:

Minnesota Gophers (21-12, 9-9 Big Ten)

F Sr. Damian Johnson (10.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg)</ br>

C So. Ralph Sampson III (8.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg)</ br>

G Sr. Lawrence Westbrook (12.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg)</ br>

G Jr. Blake Hoffarber (10.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg)</ br>

G So. Devoe Joseph (9.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg)


Ohio State Buckeyes (26-7, 14-4 Big Ten)

F Jr. Dallas Lauderdale (6.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg)</ br> G Jr. Evan Turner (19.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg)</ br> G Jr. David Lighty (12.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg)</ br> G Jr. Jon Diebler (12.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg)</ br> G So. William Buford (14.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg)