(Photo courtesy Bloomington, IN Herald Times)
The Buckeye’s Andre Wesson’s adrenaline must’ve been pumped – he kept in the battle, never finding a moment, or need to yield. Sunday, the 10th of February saw the Buckeyes and Wesson travel to Bloomington, Indiana to meet up with Big Ten opponent, Indiana Hoosiers – in a thriller.
And, an important side-bar prior to us moving on – evidence of Andre’s desire to not yield, and fight on – in the final minute as he got free – he stole a win.
Wesson forced a game-changing turnover in the final minute and then slipped behind one defender and got to the basket for a tie-breaking dunk with 20 seconds left to give the Buckeyes a 55-52 victory over Indiana.
”This is kind of the Andre I’ve seen since he got here,” said C.J. Jackson, whose long, shot-clock beating 3 tied the score with 71 seconds left. ”He’s playing unbelievable for us right now and we’re going to need his scoring, his ability to do everything he does on the court for us.”
Wesson’s value to this young team was certainly proven in Sunday’s game versus the Hoosiers of Indiana.
The rest of the team just wasn’t feeling the need to get in sync, offensively, so it seemed – this is the importance of Wesson’s extra oomph in his desire not to yield. Wesson finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals – the biggest one coming with 42 seconds remaining on the clock which literally took away Indiana’s opportunity for a potential go-ahead shot.
In the light of it all – Wesson stepped up his game every time that it mattered most. This is why this game was indeed a shining moment for him.
”They slipped him out. Our rotation was there. I thought Romeo (Langford) had a chance to make maybe a blocked shot, but he got it off the glass quickly,” Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said. ”Our help obviously didn’t get there in time.”
Wesson’s younger brother, Kaleb, and CJ Jackson each nailed down 10 points and were the only other players to reach double figures for the resurrecting Buckeyes (16-7, 6-6 Big Ten), whom are winners of three in a row now.
Indiana (13-11, 4-9), meanwhile, continues to struggle. It has lost nine of 10.
The Hoosiers fought courageously to overcome another dismal shooting performance and finally got the crowd into the game when Langford made his second 3 in a 9-0 run to tie the score at 47 with 4:54 left. Langford finished with 15 points.
Devonte Green’s long, buzzer-beating 3 sent the fans into a frenzy as Indiana took 52-49 lead with 1:46 to play.
But CJ matched-up Green’s shot while – of course – Wesson won it with his defense and his offense.
”We just knew they were going to be heavy on the ball screen, so we tried to slip him out and put Kaleb high,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. ”I thought Andre did a great job finishing and the pass was perfect.”
A BETTER VIEW:
Ohio State: The Buckeyes have scored fewer than 70 points in five of their last six games. They will need some more push on the scoring side of the ball to prepare and survive a truly tough road that’ll lead into identification of a bid into the NCAA Tournament. Others will have to step up besides Andre. I would love to see more of consistency from Luther Muhammad. After shooting 38.5 percent in the first half, the Buckeyes shot 50 percent in the second half – Musa Jallow led the Buckeyes with six rebounds – Jackson had four of Ohio State’s 13 assists – It was the lowest combined score in the series since the Buckeyes won 52-51 in March 2006.
The Buckeyes look for a season sweep of Illinois at home Thursday – Valentine’s Day.