What's Buzzing:
18-9
45 -
Team 1 2
MINN 23 22
OH ST 29 42
71

Thomas scores 19, No. 18 OSU rolls, 71-45

AP - Sports
Thomas scores 19, No. 18 OSU rolls, 71-45
.

View gallery

Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas, top, fights for the ball with Minnesota's Maverick Ahanmisi during the first …

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- No. 18 Ohio State played great defense, there's no question about it.

But much of the blame for Minnesota's lopsided 71-45 loss to the Buckeyes on Wednesday night stemmed from a world of mistakes by the Golden Gophers.

''You get beat bad when you don't make shots,'' coach Tubby Smith said. ''It's a combination of shooting poorly and turning the ball over - that's a perfect storm for getting beat.''

Deshaun Thomas overcame a slow start to score 19 points and the Buckeyes used a 16-0 second-half run to wallop the offensively-challenged Gophers.

''We didn't play perfect, but we kept pursuing the ball, kept moving,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ''A couple times in the first half we made mistakes, but we recovered from them. The thing I was most pleased with was, we just kept playing.''

That had not been the Buckeyes' modus operandi recently.

The teams came into the night in dire need of a Big Ten win. Both had lost three of their last four, and each was humiliated on the road on Sunday. The Golden Gophers (18-9, 6-8 Big Ten) were pounded at Iowa, 72-51, while Ohio State (19-7, 9-5) wasn't a factor over the final 35 minutes in a 71-49 beatdown at Wisconsin.

''We got knocked down, but it's always good to pick yourself back up and regroup,'' Thomas said. ''We did that tonight.''

Shannon Scott added 11 points and LaQuinton Ross 10 for the Buckeyes, who have won the last six meetings with the Golden Gophers overall and the last six in Columbus.

''After the Wisconsin game, we felt bad about everything we did,'' said Scott, who added five assists, three steals and three blocked shots in 26 minutes.

In the wake of the loss at Wisconsin - which several Buckeyes called ''an embarrassment'' - Matta had his staff put together an inspirational videotape of a speech by the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Lewis. In it, Lewis - in graphic terms - made the point that it was up to individuals to get motivated.

''It's all on you to get a great effort,'' Thomas said.

The message was simple, Scott said: ''Just to be ready at all times. Don't take anything for granted.''

Thomas had just two points (on 1 of 5 shooting from the field) in the opening 16 minutes. But then he gained his footing and starting making shots.

After producing five late points which helped the Buckeyes gain a 29-23 halftime lead, he started the second half with a 3 from the left wing. He later dropped back behind the line after sitting a pick and took a pass from Craft for another 3 and a 37-28 lead.

Andre Hollins hit a 15-foot jumper from the left side for Minnesota with 16:15 left - but the Gophers didn't have another field goal until Oto Osenieks banked in a short shot with 5:36 left.

During Ohio State's 16-0 run, Thomas and Shannon Scott each had six points, with LaQuinton Ross and Evan Ravenel each adding baskets.

''Coach (Matta) said, 'They're getting tired,''' Thomas said. ''We were stopping them. We had to punch it down their throat.''

By the end of the spurt, the Buckeyes were well in command.

Hollins had 11 points and Osenieks 10 for Minnesota, which had a season-high 24 turnovers and shot just 29 percent from the field (14 of 48).

Matta praised his defense, but then added, ''But they went cold. They had some good looks at the basket that didn't go down.''

It was one of the largest margins ever for the Buckeyes in the series, rivaling the all-time biggest difference of 31 in the March 14, 1992, game (94-63).

Osenieks was reminded that this is the second year in a row that the Golden Gophers have gotten off to a fast start but then faded. This year, they got as high as No. 8 after winning 15 of their first 16 games.

''Yeah, but we're going to get over this,'' he said. ''We're going to learn from our mistakes in the past. We'll make changes. We'll get over it.''

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes were just pleased to be back on the winning track.

''We just wanted to win, really,'' Scott said. ''We definitely needed that. We'd lost three of four games, so getting back on the winning side was really good for us. Beating them by as many as we did was just extra for us.''

---

Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap

View Comments (69)
  • Gatlin wins 100 metre, DeGrasse finishes 8th at Prefontaine Classic

    Gatlin wins 100 metre, DeGrasse finishes 8th at Prefontaine Classic

    Canadian sprinter Andre DeGrasse finished eighth in the 100 metres Saturday in the Diamond League's Prefontaine Classic. American Justin Gatlin won the event in 9.88 seconds at Hayward Field. Jamaica's Asafa Powell was second in 9.94, and American … More »

    The Canadian Press - 10 minutes ago
  • Royals score 7 in 9th to beat White Sox 8-7; Perez hurt

    Royals score 7 in 9th to beat White Sox 8-7; Perez hurt

    Brett Eibner wondered whether anything could surpass the Kansas City Royals' rally Friday night, when they overcome a four-run deficit to beat the Chicago White Sox in his major league debut. Eibner singled to cap the biggest ninth-inning comeback … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • Pelicans' Dejean-Jones fatally shot

    Pelicans' Dejean-Jones fatally shot

    New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment, authorities said Saturday. A man living at the apartment was sleeping when he heard his front door kicked open, Dallas Police Senior … More »

    AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago
  • Mets find help at first base, get Loney in trade with Padres

    Mets find help at first base, get Loney in trade with Padres

    The Mets have found help at first base following Lucas Duda's injury, acquiring veteran James Loney from the San Diego Padres for cash. Always a fine fielder, the 32-year-old Loney hit .280 with four homers, 16 doubles and 32 RBIs in 104 games with … More »

    AP - Sports - 17 minutes ago
  • Ronaldo helps Real hand Atletico another final defeat

    Ronaldo helps Real hand Atletico another final defeat

    By Brian Homewood MILAN (Reuters) - Real Madrid handed Atletico Madrid another cruel Champions League final defeat when Cristiano Ronaldo's spot kick saw them beat their neighbors on penalties to win Europe's top club trophy for a record 11th time … More »

    Reuters - 18 minutes ago