INDIANAPOLIS -- Ohio State had a rough start to the Evan Turner-less era.
The Buckeyes' star player injured his back last weekend and could miss eight weeks. If Saturday's game at No. 20 Butler is an indication, it could be a long two months.
The Bulldogs sprinted out to a 17-point second half lead, then held off a late charge to win 74-66 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. It was a much-needed résumé-building win for Butler (7-3), which had lost its first three games against ranked opponents this season.
Ohio State led by two at halftime, but went nearly seven minutes without a point as the Bulldogs zoomed out to a 67-50 lead on a Gordon Hayward layup with 4:35 to go. The rudderless Buckeyes obviously missed Turner's poise and leadership during the big run.
They went into frenzy mode in the final four minutes and got as close as 69-66 in the final minute, but Butler regrouped to score the final five points.
Hayward led all scorers with 24 points. William Buford tried to make up for Turner's absence with 20 points for Ohio State. It was not enough.
Check in later this afternoon for my article on the game.