Sunday, March 14, 2010
At the half: Ohio State 33, Minnesota 30
By Adam Rittenberg
INDIANAPOLIS -- After a sluggish start from both teams, things picked up toward the end of the half, and Devoe Joseph's 3-pointer at the buzzer keeps things close entering the break.
Quick thoughts at halftime:
Evan Turner is a tough defensive assignment for just about anybody, and Minnesota's Lawrence Westbrook is no exception. Westbrook is giving up seven inches to Turner, who tallied seven points and eight rebounds in the first half. The Gophers senior likely will need some help on Turner in the second half.
Turner actually hasn't been Ohio State's top weapon today. His backcourt mates Jon Diebler (10 points), William Buford (6 points) and David Lighty (6) are all playing well so far. Diebler really came on strong toward the end of the half with a steal and slam, followed by a 3-pointer.
Westbrook is certainly pulling his weight on the offensive end so far. Minnesota's inside game has been so-so aside from Colton Iverson, so the Gophers are settling for jump shots. He already has hit two 3-pointers from the left corner. Westbrook never shies away from taking big shots, and today he's making them. The Gophers need Blake Hoffarber (0 points) to start stepping up.
Minnesota will need more after halftime from center Ralph Sampson III, who looks very tentative so far. Sampson has only two points and three turnovers and seems bothered by Ohio State's pressure defense. If he emerges and Paul Carter starts finishing better around the rim, Minnesota should be in this thing the whole way.