Big Ten Tournament Semifinals - Ohio State Moves on to the Tournament Finals
The “madness” which inevitably happens throughout college basketball this time of year has already hit the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes.
A day after Evan Turner’s 37 foot 3-pointer helped escape a loss to rival Michigan; the Buckeyes found themselves in yet another gutty battle for their tournament lives on Saturday afternoon.
It took two overtimes, and more Turner heroics, as Ohio State outlasted the Illinois Fighting Illini 88-81 to advance to the finals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Scoring 12 of his 31 points after regulation, Turner willed himself and his team through fatigue and a pesky opponent looking to impress the NCAA selection committee.
"Coach Matta and I always talk about if I get my teammates shots I might find myself open a little bit more, and you know maybe hitting more shots," Turner explained. "Sometimes you just have to will your way and make things happen and that's it."
Turner found his teammates for a team-high six assists to go along with 10 rebounds. Teammates like William Buford (22 points), Jon Diebler (14 points), and David Lighty (12 points).
Illinois’ leader, and Turner’s high school teammate, Demetri McCamey led the Illini with 22 points in the losing effort.
Twice Illinois had shots at the buzzer for the win, but Mike Davis didn't get a wide open layup off in time at the end of regulation, and D.J. Richardson missed a long jumper after the buzzer sounded at the close of the first overtime.
Turner seemed determined to not let the Buckeyes’ third chance slip through their fingers.
"We were in it to win it, we could have went for 80 minutes," said Turner. "We were going to win the game, however long it took."
Starting the second overtime, Turner found Diebler for a triple and then proceeded to score on consecutive drives to the basket giving the Buckeyes an 82-77 lead.