2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Recap
OSU Ousted, Successful Season Comes to a Close
Buckeye standout Evan Turner has carried Ohio State for most of the season, and some wondered how far he could take the Buckeyes by himself in the NCAA Tournament.
That questioned was answered Friday night as the two-seeded Buckeyes fell to the sixth-seeded Tennessee Volunteers 76-73, despite a 31 point performance from Turner.
Turner, a candidate to add national honors to his Big Ten player of the year award, carried the Buckeyes single-handedly in the second half. He scored 21 of his 31 points in the final period, while the rest of the Buckeyes went just 3-of-16 from the field.
William Buford was the only other Buckeye to score in double figures with 15 points. Sharp-shooter Jon Diebler, who had been on fire through the first two rounds of the tournament, bucketed just three points on 1-of-7 shooting from beyond-the-arc.
At times, it seemed as though it was a game of one against five.
The Vols benefited from a better all-around team performance as Wayne Chism tallied a team-high 22 points and 11 rebounds while J.P. Prince added 14 points and six assists to go along with some feisty defense.
Prince’s best defense came on the very last play of the game as Turner rose up for a game-tying three-pointer which Prince blocked as the final buzzer sounded.
Prior to that last possession, Chism gave Tennessee a 72-70 lead with 1:39 to play, but Turner came up with yet another big play, swishing a triple to put Ohio State in front with less than 42 seconds remaining. Tennessee big man, Brian Williams, would then score the go-ahead basket on a tip-in with 32 seconds left.
Turner missed at the other end and reserve Kyle Madsen lost the ball under the basket. Then, with less than 13 seconds left, OSU was forced to foul sending Tennessee to the line where they calmly knocked down a pair of free-throws giving themselves a 76-73 lead, setting the stage for Prince’s block on Turner.
"Obviously, it hasn't hit me to the point where I think it's over," Buckeye head coach Thad Matta said. "They're distraught because this isn't where they thought it was going to end."
The end has indeed come for Ohio State who ended up with an overall record of 29-8 this season, but would it be the end of Evan Turner’s career at Ohio State?
The Buckeyes could potentially return their starting five, who logged almost all the team’s minutes, add that to a superb recruiting class coming in, and Ohio State poses a legitimate championship squad next season.
If any positive could come out of Friday night’s loss, it is that Turner seemed very displeased about the way his career at Ohio State could potentially have ended.
"I can't give a percentage right now," said a visibly upset Turner when asked if he'll return. "I really don't want to go out like this."
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