Jared Sullinger set the Ohio State freshmen record book on fire with his 40-point performance against IUPUI tonight. He continued to add his name with a 12-of-17 performance from the field and going 16-for-23 from the charity stripe, both records as well.
Sullinger has lived up to the hype and is quickly making Buckeye fans forget that Evan Turner is gone to the NBA. Sullinger finished the night with 13 rebounds, giving him four double-doubles in Ohio State’s seven games this season.
The Buckeyes looked rusty for a majority of the game and went into the half tied at 35 with IUPUI. It wasn’t until midway through the second half that the Buckeyes finally pulled away for good.
Sullinger got a little help from his supporting cast tonight. Jon Diebler finished with 13 points, and William Buford chipped in 14 as the only other Buckeyes in double digits in scoring.
Ohio State had a nine-day layoff, and it showed tonight, but when it counted, they came alive and held on to a win for the home crowd. The Buckeyes continue to be solid at the free throw line this season, and tonight was no different as they finished going 18-for-26.
Deshaun Thomas saw limited action as he attempts to get healthy before conference play begins. Thad Matta said earlier this week that Thomas would see action, but the coach would keep a watchful eye on the young post player tonight. Thomas finished without much of an impact on the game, playing nine minutes with one rebound and two points.
The Buckeyes are starting to understand that being the No. 2 team in the country comes with a price. It’s a pretty large target placed on Ohio State, and every team will give its best effort to unseat Coach Matta’s squad when they take the court.
Sleep-walking through a half like they did tonight will cost them in the Big Ten, but this team has battled through adversity and hardly blinked this season. The excitement grows in Columbus for this season’s team, and with a little more experience they’ll be tough to beat in March.