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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

FINAL: No. 1 Indiana 81, No. 10 Ohio State 68

Last year in early February, in his team's first game after a road loss, Victor Oladipo set a career high  as the Hoosiers returned to their winning ways with a double-digit road victory.

Sunday was eerily familiar.

With 25 points to lead IU, Oladipo reached a new career mark as No. 1 IU triumphed 81-68 against No. 10 Ohio State on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

OSU's Deshaun Thomas got his usual share of opportunities, taking more than a third of the Buckeyes' shots and pacing the team with 26 points.

The Hoosiers jumped to an early 11-4 lead with crisp passing and aggressive play, especially from senior guard Jordan Hulls.

The senior continued to find himself open with OSU defensive whiz Aaron Craft concentrating on freshman guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, but it did not pay off. Seeking to get the ball away from Craft, Ferrell often zipped it to Hulls, who immediately hoisted several increasingly forced shots.

The misses allowed OSU to mount a 9-0 run and take its first lead of the day.

Minutes later, three consecutive makes by IU seemed to end its shooting slump. The ensuing five-point buffer was quickly cut to one, then boosted back to six with IU once again embracing aggressive ball movement.

The team largely traded baskets the rest of the way, though a long offensive rebound followed by a thunderous dunk by junior guard Victor Oladipo pushed the IU lead to 8 for the first time. IU held court and entered the break with a 41-33 edge.

Despite the lead, IU's recent bench woes continued in the first half. Only four players scored for the Hoosiers, all of them starters.

The early minutes of the second half were riddled with fouls, including one of Thomas beyond the arc. He made all three fouls shots and closed the Hoosier lead to four.

Oladipo responded with five points on consecutive possessions, the beginning of a 19-5 run that saw IU dictate its favored fast tempo for the first extended stretch all game.

Whether with a timely pass, a rebound in traffic or a layup, Oladipo energized IU to a 13-point lead. The momentum continued even when he took a brief breather, the lead reaching 16.

Whereas quick shots cost IU late in its loss to Illinois, the opposite threatened to derail a late lead Sunday. IU had one shot clock violation late in the game, a near-miss on another as Hulls was forced into essentially a wasted shot and several instances that saw them abandon the careful shot selection that help build the advantage.

With a number of OSU fans already giving up hope and leaving, the Buckeye's actually brought the difference briefly back within single digit before free throws, on which IU was 22-for-28 overall, clinched the road victory.

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