Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Ohio State Crafts Rout of Duke
Two heavy hitters squared off Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge as second-ranked Ohio State hosted fourth-ranked Duke.
Ohio State burst out of the gate with an 11-0 run and although Duke rallied early, the Buckeyes rolled to a 22-point rout over the Blue Devils. The victory gave Ohio State its 29th-straight home win, which is the fourth-longest active streak in Division I.
Jared Sullinger, who is one of five players in D-I averaging at least 19 points and 10 rebounds per game, led four Buckeyes in scoring with 21 points. Sullinger did most of his damage near the rim as het got 12 touches in the lane and went 6-9 with 12 points on possessions in that location.
Sullinger had 14 touches outside the lane and went 2-5 with eight points, as the Blue Devils had more success defending him away from the basket.
Aaron Craft chipped in 17 points and eight assists, but it was his defense that helped shut down Duke. Led by Craft, Ohio State held Duke to season lows in points and three-point field goals and did so by controlling the Blue Devils in the halfcourt.
Duke guards combined to score four points on 2-8 shooting when being defended by Craft with four turnovers. Entering the game, Craft had allowed opponents to shoot 25 percent from the floor as an on-ball defender this season, best in the Big Ten.
Entering this game Duke had won 35 consecutive games in the month of November, but the 22-point loss is Duke's worst in a regular season non-conference game since February 26, 1995, when they lost 100-77 to UCLA. It is also the Blue Devils’ second-worst loss ever against a current member of the Big Ten.
Austin Rivers scored a career-high 22 points in defeat. He and Mason Plumlee were the only two consistent offensive contributors as they combined for 38 points while the rest of the starters combined to score just seven and did not attempt a free throw.
Ryan Kelly who entered averaging 14.6 PPG and Andre Dawkins (10.1) were each held scoreless.
Duke’s next game is Wednesday versus Colorado State while Ohio State takes on Texas-Pan American on Saturday.