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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student


What a road trip

Men\'s Basketball

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- If looks could kill, Ohio State might have won the ball game. Ken Johnson, the Buckeyes' 6-foot-11 senior center, swatted a shot by sophomore forward Jeffrey Newton and then glared at him. \nIt was a look that said, "Try that again, I dare you."\nJohnson and the rest of his team challenged the Hoosiers from the tip-off, but IU answered and defeated OSU 70-67 before a crowd of 19,200 in Value City Arena. The win improved the Hoosiers conference record to 4-4 while Ohio State fell to 4-5.\nFor the first time this season, interim head coach Mike Davis didn't have to answer the postgame question, "How does it feel to be 0-11 outside Indiana?"\n"It feels good just winning a basketball game on the road, in the conference," Davis said. "We're way overdue, I mean way overdue. If we played the way we did tonight in the second half, we'd probably be in first place, but we're not."\nDavis said after Monday's practice he was planning to start junior guard Dane Fife at the point guard position, but about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, he changed his mind and kept sophomore guard Tom Coverdale in the spot.\nIt appeared to be a wise decision, as Coverdale scored 18 points and made 5-of-8 from three-point range. Junior center Kirk Haston, who was held to three points in the first half, also finished with 18 points and had a career-high five steals, including two in the final minute.\n"I made a couple of dumb plays on defense and got into a rush on offense," Haston said of his first-half performance. "The shots were there, I was getting the ball where I wanted, I was just rushing a little bit. Everyone on the team kept telling me to relax and that they need me in the second half."\nHaston answered the plea for help. He came out and scored seven of IU's first nine points in the second half, putting the Hoosiers up 40-36 around the 16-minute mark. But when the Hoosiers offense reached its peak in the second half, their defense broke down. IU had its biggest lead of the game in the second half at 52-44 when Ohio State took off on a 9-0 run.\nOhio State's Tim Martin sank four free throws and made a field goal in less than two minutes to bring the Buckeyes ahead 53-52 with 7:20 remaining.\nWhen the game got down to the wire, Haston came up big. The Hoosiers teetered on a 65-64 lead with 1:14 remaining in the game. Haston scored on a fastbreak layup and then snagged two consecutive steals and grabbed a defensive rebound. The final play of the game was a steal by Haston.\nIt was a 180-degree turnaround from his performance in the first half. Haston, the team's leading scorer with an average of 17.4 points per game, was held to 1-of-4 from the field in nine minutes of action in the first half.\nThat was only a small percentage of IU's offensive woes in the first half. The Hoosiers were held to 35.7 percent from the field on 10-of-28 shots.\nJust when it looked like things couldn't sink any lower for IU on the road (losers of 11 consecutive out-of-state games), the Hoosiers found themselves in the hole nine points, five minutes into the game. Ohio State opened with a 12-3 run, the Hoosiers' only point coming from Haston's three-point shot.\nBut Davis threw a twist into the game and the Hoosiers began to press. The turning point came around the four-minute mark of the first half, when the Hoosiers were down 24-16. Freshman forward Jared Jeffries and Coverdale combined to lead the team on an 8-0 run and from that point on, it was anyone's game.\nCoverdale hit a three-pointer with less than a minute remaining in the first half, giving IU it's first lead at 31-30. But OSU guard Brian Brown nailed a basket at the buzzer, sending the Buckeyes to the locker room with the one-point edge.\nJohnson, the Big Ten's leading shot blocker, finished with five blocks and 10 rebounds. Ohio State held IU to 42.6 percent from the field on 23-of-54 shots. But in the end, the Buckeyes came up short.\n"We needed this," Jeffries said. "There's a lot of pressure when you start losing, you start questioning yourself. But the coaches did a good job of preparing us for this game. We came out and played well"

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