Friday, March 15, 2002

Buckeyes hold off tough Wildcats


Ohio State 69, Davidson 64

By BEN WALKER
AP Sports Writer

[img]
Ohio State's Terence Dials (34) goes up for a first-half score against Davidson.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One win later, Brian Brown and Ohio State are thrilled to be playing at The Pit.

        Brown scored a career-high 33 points, and the Buckeyes barely avoided another quick exit in the NCAA tournament, holding off Davidson 69-64 Thursday in the first round of the West Regional.

        “Albuquerque is somewhere I've never been before,” Brown said. “We are very happy to be moving on.”

        The Buckeyes had been miffed that winning the Big Ten tournament did not give them a better seeding or location.

        After this victory, in which they trailed with 4 1/2 minutes left, they had no complaints.

        “I was a little surprised at how that worked out,” coach Jim O'Brien said. “Let me make this perfectly clear: If you would have told us in December we were going to be a fourth seed anywhere, we would've jumped up and down like you can't believe.”

        “We did not play with a chip on our shoulders,” he said. “We are not up on a soap opera about seeding. I mean, 'soap box.”'

        The 13th-seeded Wildcats, trying for their first NCAA win since Lefty Driesell coached them in 1969, rallied for a 59-58 lead.

        But with the crowd standing and cheering for a stunner, Brown took over. The senior scored seven straight points for the Buckeyes, putting them ahead 65-61 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

        Peter Anderer's 3 pulled the Wildcats within a point with 36 seconds left, before Ohio State hit four foul shots to stay ahead.

        Even in the midst of an intense ending, Brown kidded Anderer.

        “I said, 'Nice shot.' I was laughing at him because I got a little finger on the ball. If I hadn't, it probably would have been long,” Brown said.

        The Buckeyes (24-7) advanced to play Missouri, which beat Miami 93-80.

        Last season, Ohio State fell to lightly regarded Utah State in the first round. Making their fourth straight trip to the NCAAs, they're sticking around this time.

        “Last year left a sour taste,” Brown said.

        He shot 13-for-19 and eclipsed his career high of 27 points, set last week in the Big Ten tourney against Illinois.

        Martin Ides scored a career-high 20 points for Davidson (21-10). At times, the 7-foot-2 senior was the only one scoring for the Southern Conference tournament champions.

        “We came in here expecting to win, and it did hurt,” he said.

        Davidson outshot and outrebounded the Buckeyes, blocked more shots and had more steals.

        “I was delighted with our defense,” coach Bob McKillop said. “They chased screens, went through screens relentlessly and passionately, gave everything they had.”

        The Wildcats hurt themselves by shooting only 4-for-15 on 3-pointers — their usual forte — and committing 16 turnovers.

        Terence Dials added 18 points for Ohio State. Emeka Erege had 13 for Davidson.

        The Buckeyes made the first basket of the game, but did not regain the lead until Brown's 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer gave them a 33-32 edge.

        Ohio State kept pounding the ball inside in the first half without much success against Davidson's equal-to-the-challenge defenders.

        “Get him off us when we're driving!” O'Brien shouted at the officiating team, which included former big league catcher Bruce Benedict.

        O'Brien and McKillop played against each other in high school in New York during the 1960s.

        DAVIDSON (21-10) — Pearson 4-12 1-5 9, Ides 9-13 2-3 20, Tonella 1-4 0-0 2, Booker 1-2 0-0 2, Bernard 3-8 0-1 7, Anderer 4-9 0-0 11, Erege 3-5 7-8 13, Ivory 0-0 0-0 0, White 0-0 0-0 0, Grace 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 10-17 64.

        OHIO ST. (24-7) — Z.Williams 1-5 0-0 2, Radinovic 1-5 0-0 2, Darby 2-8 2-3 7, Brown 13-19 4-4 33, Savovic 1-7 3-4 5, Fuss-Cheatham 0-0 0-0 0, Connolly 0-4 0-0 0, Dials 6-11 6-7 18, Dudley 1-3 0-0 2, Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-62 15-18 69.

        Halftime—Ohio St. 33-32. 3-Point Goals—Davidson 4-15 (Anderer 3-6, Bernard 1-5, Booker 0-1, Grace 0-1, Pearson 0-1, Tonella 0-1), Ohio St. 4-14 (Brown 3-6, Darby 1-3, Savovic 0-2, Connolly 0-3). Fouled out—Bernard. Rebounds—Davidson 39 (Pearson 11), Ohio St. 33 (Dials 9). Assists—Davidson 17 (Booker 6), Ohio St. 11 (Z.Williams 4). Total fouls—Davidson 19, Ohio St. 20. A—13,661.

       



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