Following a home loss to Michigan State, the Ohio State men’s basketball team made quick work of Minnesota, beating the Golden Gophers, 68-58, on the road Tuesday.
Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger said OSU played like ‘spoiled brats” against the Spartans, but the team appeared to be more in sync against Minnesota.
After shooting just 26 percent against MSU, OSU made 44.6 percent of its shots Tuesday, including 31.6 percent from behind the arc.
Senior guard William Buford, who shot 2-12 and had just four points against MSU, scored 24 points to lead the Buckeyes in scoring.
Sullinger added 23 points and 8 rebounds in route to the Buckeyes’ victory.
With the score knotted up at 12 and 14:33 remaining in the first half, the Buckeyes exploded on an 18-0 run behind two dunks by freshman forward Sam Thompson.
But Minnesota responded with a 12-3 run at the end of the half and OSU led, 40-28, heading into the locker room.
The Gophers cut the lead to single digits when redshirt freshman forward Oto Osenieks converted a three-point play with 12:02 remaining in the game, making the score 53-44.
Buford quickly responded on the other end with 15-foot jumper as the shot clock expired.
After a pair of free throws from Sullinger, Buford made the Buckeyes’ next five points and extended their lead to 14 with 7:32 remaining.
Minnesota wouldn’t go away though.
A dunk by junior forward Rodney Williams made the score, 68-59, and his free throw with 1:21 remaining cut the lead to eight.
Minnesota’s fouling extended the game, but good free throw shooting down the stretch ensured the Buckeyes victory.
The win brings the Buckeyes’ record to 22-4 on the year and 10-3 in the conference. OSU now stands alone in first place in the conference standings, 0.5 games over MSU.
The Buckeyes next travel to Michigan to take on the Wolverines. Tip is at 9 p.m.