Live Blog: Gophers Men’s Basketball at No. 20 Ohio State

Marco LaNave

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In what may be their last chance to play a ranked opponent on the road, the Gophers visit No. 20 Ohio State, where they have won just once in their last 12 trips and twice in their last 18.  The Buckeyes have won four consecutive Big Ten contests since losing to Minnesota, 73-62, at Williams Arena on Jan. 9.

Final – The Gophers shoot 25 of 59 to the Buckeyes’ 34-of-54 performance. Buford (26), Turner (19) and Diebler (19) led Ohio State, while freshman Rodney Williams (13), Sampson (11), Hoffarber and Johnson (10 each) led Minnesota. True freshman point guard Bryant Allen, a receiver for the Gophers football team, made his first appearance with 1:14 remaining in the game and committed one turnover. OHIO STATE 85, GOPHERS 63.

4:27 2nd – The Buckeyes are are starting to coast, as they haven’t made a shot for about four minutes. OHIO STATE 78, GOPHERS 58.

11:04 2nd – If this was a non-conference game, Ohio State might have slowed down by now. As it is, the Buckeyes have made nearly 75 percent of their shot attempts. Buford has 24 points, Turner has 19 points and eight rebounds, and Diebler has 16 points on four 3-pointers and four free throws. OHIO STATE 73, GOPHERS 47.

17:00 2nd – Minnesota called a timeout, but things may have already gotten out of hand. The Buckeyes have scored seven straight points after Johnson made a pair of free throws with 18:18 remaining. OHIO STATE 58, GOPHERS 39.

Halftime – The Gophers almost look defeated after a half in which they allowed 19-of-26 shooting to the Buckeyes. Diebler capped the scoring with a 3-point field goal with four seconds to play. Westbrook threw the ball with one-arm – half in frustration – down the court where it missed the backboard and went directly to the front-row seats beyond the baseline. OHIO STATE 49, GOPHERS 35.

3:40 1st – Minnesota now has committed nine turnovers leading to 15 points for Ohio State. That is essentially the difference in the game. OHIO STATE 38, GOPHERS 24.

5:30 1st – The Buckeyes have now hit 13 of their first 20 shots, and they’ve scored 13 points off of seven Gophers turnovers. Turner and Buford have nine points each for Ohio State, while Sampson has eight points for Minnesota. OHIO STATE 32, GOPHERS 24.

11:38 1st – Diebler just made his second 3-pointer, as the Buckeyes have made seven of their first 11 shots of the game. Minnesota is 6-of-12 from the field and already has five turnovers. OHIO STATE 19, GOPHERS 13.

15:35 1st – Ohio State has made four of its first six shots. Diebler was just fouled on a breakaway and will shoot two after the timeout. OHIO STATE 9, GOPHERS 6.

Starting Lineups:

Minnesota Gophers (13-7, 4-4 Big Ten)

G Jr. Blake Hoffarber (.527 field goal percentage, 11.6 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game)
F Sr. Damian Johnson (.540 FG%, 10.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG)
C So. Ralph Sampson III (.514 FG%, 7.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
G So. Devoe Joseph (.406 FG%, 8.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG)
G Sr. Lawrence Westbrook (.510 FG%, 13.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG)

Ohio State Buckeyes (15-6, 5-3 Big Ten)

G Jr. David Lighty (.508 FG%, 13.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG)
G So. William Buford (.414 FG%, 13.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG)
C Jr. Dallas Lauderdale (.763 FG%, 7.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG)
G Jr. Jon Diebler (.448 FG%, 13.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG)
G Jr. Evan Turner (.550 FG%, 18.4 PPG, 9.9 RPG)