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Ohio State 73, Minnesota 62

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State reached back to its past to get
some help for the present.

After a week in which several former Buckeyes stars came in to
speak to the team, Ohio State ended a three-game losing skid by
beating Minnesota 73-62 Saturday for its first Big Ten win.

"We had some visits from our former players to help with our
guys," coach Jim O'Brien said. "We got calls from guys all over
the world on how to help. ... Their message was to go after it now
-- don't have any regrets when you leave Ohio State."

Terence Dials almost doubled his average with 14 points and led
an inside assault for the Buckeyes (9-7, 1-2), who were inspired
and encouraged by the words of alumni such as Ron Stokes and Clark
Kellogg.

Dials, averaging less than an assist a game, had assists on
consecutive dunks by J.J. Sullinger and Velimir Radinovic as the
Buckeyes took the lead for good early in the first half.

"Coach installed plays where Velimir and I are isolated and
that game plan worked," Dials said. "I've been in a bit of a
slump. It was good to get some easy baskets and gain some
confidence."

With the Buckeyes holding on to a 50-43 lead at the midpoint of
the second half, Dials hit a turnaround and the accompanying free
throw, then powered in a rebound follow and scored again inside for
a 57-46 lead.

"Dials made some big effort plays," Minnesota coach Dan Monson
said. "He was a big difference in the game."

Sullinger and Tony Stockman each added 13 points for the
Buckeyes, with Radinovic chipping in with 10 points.

The Buckeyes outrebounded the Golden Gophers (8-7, 0-3) 37-25,
with Dials grabbing nine, Sullinger eight, Radinovic six and
Stockman five.

"Think how bad it could've been if we hadn't come here and
team-bonded," Monson said, joking about his team traveling to
Columbus a day early to prepare for the game.

Ohio State had 26 points in the paint, most on moves inside or
rebound follows by Dials or Radinovic.

"We did some things in practice to get the ball to Velimir and
Terence and I thought our guys picked it up well and did a good job
of finding them inside," O'Brien said. "Dials did a good job of
getting open."

Minnesota's Kris Humphries, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 22.8
points a game, scored 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting from the field.
Most of his points came after the outcome had been decided.

Surrounded by defenders whether Ohio State was in a zone or
man-to-man defense, Humphries had just five points in the opening
29 minutes.

"Our zone took Humphries out of the game," said Dials, who
came in averaging 8.2 points a game.

Ben Johnson added 11 points for the Gophers.

"We're just a textbook (case of a) team that's struggling,"
Monson said. "Both of these teams are in that same situation but
they were able to persevere more than us. We are just not hitting
on all cylinders right now."

Ohio State hit 50 percent from the field for the first time in
five games. Minnesota, which came in second in the Big Ten's in
scoring offense, was held 14 points under its average while
shooting 39 percent from the field.

"Our locker room was as upbeat after the game as it has been
all year," O'Brien said. "That matters because we need to
continue to build confidence."

The Buckeyes led 34-25 at the half, thanks to a late splurge.
Ahead 25-22 heading into the final 2{ minutes, on consecutive trips
down the floor Ohio State picked up two 3-pointers from Sullinger
and another from Stockman.

The Golden Gophers scored on only two of their final 15
possessions of the half and never led in the second 20 minutes.

"We needed to win this game," O'Brien said. "It leaves us
with a chance to get to 2-2 with a win against Indiana (on Tuesday
night at home) and get in the thick of the race."

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