Buckeyes Beaten In Bloomington

Buckeyes Beaten In Bloomington

Ohio State started March the same way that it started February -- with a loss. Falling to Indiana by a 72-64 score, the Buckeyes dropped to 9-8 in Big Ten play and now finds themselves in a dangerous predicament heading into the final stretch of the season.

Are the Buckeyes back on the bubble? One could certainly argue so.

Ohio State lost its second game in as many contests on Sunday, falling victim to a 72-64 defeat at the hands of Indiana (17-12, 7-9) in Bloomington. Dropping to sixth place in the Big Ten bubble, the No. 22 Buckeyes' (22-8, 9-8) postseason hopes no longer seem as certain as they did a week ago.

Ohio State's loss to the Hoosiers was particularly ugly, as Indiana was without star freshman and leading rebounder Noah Vonleh. The Buckeyes' offensive struggles also continued, with OSU not making a three-point shot for the first time in a game since 2004.

OSU had actually gotten out to a strong start in Bloomington, jumping out to a 9-2 lead in the game's opening five minutes. The Buckeyes reeled off an additional 9-3 run to stretch their advantage to 20-12 with 7:54 remaining in the first half, but their lead wouldn't be for long.

Thanks to seven points from Yogi Ferrell and five from Will Sheehey, a 16-0 Indiana run gave the Hoosiers a 28-20 lead with 3:18 left in the half. A Sheehey three pushed Indiana's advantage to nine before an Aaron Craft free throw cut the Hoosiers' lead to 33-25 heading into halftime.

Indiana opened the half by stretching its lead to double digits on a Jeremy Hollowell layup but the Buckeyes used a 10-2 stretch to get back in the game. A LaQuinton Ross jumper cut the Hoosiers' lead to just two points with 15:06 left on the clock, before Indiana pushed its lead back to nine with a 7-2 run.

The Buckeyes still had some fight left in them as a Ross jumper capped an 10-2 OSU run to trim Indiana's lead to one. That would prove to be as close as the Buckeyes would get to the Hoosiers for the rest of the game.

Back to back threes from Evan Gordon and Sheehey jumpstarted a 17-8 run that pushed Indiana's lead to 10 with fewer than two minutes left on the clock. Ohio State never got back within six points of Indiana, who sealed the game with seven free throws in the final 1:01 of play.

Ohio State received 19 points each from Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr., but no other Buckeye scored more than seven points against the Hoosiers. Indiana was paced by 20 points from Ferrell and 19 from Sheehey, and Gordon provided nine points in 19 minutes off the bench.

In contrast to OSU's lack of success from beyond the three-point arc, Indiana connected on 7 of 18 attempts from long distance. The Hoosiers enjoyed a 48 percent (24-50) field goal percentage, while the Buckeyes made just 42.5 percent (25-59) of their shots.

Ohio State also recorded only five assists, four of which came from Craft.

Now on a losing streak, Ohio State will end its regular season on Sunday with a senior day date with No. 18 Michigan State (22-7, 11-5). A third straight loss would potentially leave the now sixth-place Buckeyes fighting for their NCAA Tournament hopes in the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis the following week.

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