2010 NCAA Tournament Recap
Buckeyes Advance Despite Turner’s Struggles
Evan Turner, the Big Ten player of the year and widely regarded as the leading candidate for national player of the year, has carried the Ohio State Buckeyes for much of this season and for the Buckeyes to keep advancing in the NCAA Tournament they will need Turner to be on his A game.
Or will they?
Jon Diebler scored 23 points and Dallas Lauderdale blocked a career-high eight shots and grabbed 12 rebounds for the second-seeded Buckeyes (28-7), who beat UC Santa Barbara 68-51 Friday night without much offense from their top player.
Turner was held to nine points on 2-of-13 shooting from the field. He did have 10 rebounds, and William Buford added 16 points for the Buckeyes.
However, it was Diebler who stole the show with a “sick” shooting performance…literally.
Diebler tied a season-high by draining seven 3-pointers despite spending the week fighting off flulike symptoms.
"I knew I was going to be fine," Diebler said. "Yesterday I felt a little better after the practice…after I threw up."
"Evan, he was struggling a little bit but also did a good job of finding the open guy," added Diebler. "We knew coming in they come at you with unique zones. We felt there were ways we could attack it."
Ohio State led the Big Ten in team field goal percentage shooting at nearly a 50 percent clip, but they shot just over 40 percent against the Gauchos' unique defense.
Speaking of defense…Lauderdale’s dominance in the paint helped the Buckeyes hold UCSB to just 32.3 percent shooting from the floor. UCSB’s Orlando Johnson led the Gauchos with 20 points.
The Gauchos began the game a miserable 1-of-9 from the field including a cold 1-of-6 from 3-point range, as the Buckeyes jumped out to a 13-3 lead.
UCSB would go on a run to cut the lead to one but Ohio State countered with a 13-0 run themselves on their way to taking a 30-17 lead into the half.
In the second half, the Gauchos would continue to battle cutting the lead down to eight points.
In spite of UCSB’s best efforts, they never could get any closer as the Buckeyes would continue to answer with 3-pointers and monster slams from Lauderdale.
With the victory, Ohio State advances to play Sunday against No. 10 seed Georgia Tech, which beat seventh-seeded Oklahoma State 64-59 on Friday.
The Buckeyes can survive in the first round without a solid performance from Evan Turner, but they will need their star to return back to form on Sunday against a more formidable opponent.
Buckeye coach Thad Matta doesn’t seem worried about his leader.
“He’ll be back,” stated Matta.
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