Saturday, March 15, 2003

Big 10: OSU latest team to oust a No. 1 seed

Darby paces Buckeyes past Wisconsin

The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Two weeks ago, Ohio State was barely above .500, and the NCAA tournament was far from the Buckeyes' minds.

Now they're on a roll, two victories away from an improbable spot in the field.

Led by a gritty defense and Sean Connolly's strong shooting, Ohio State stunned No. 18 Wisconsin 58-50 Friday in the Big Ten tournament. The eighth-seeded Buckeyes (16-13), winners of three of their last four games, face fifth-seeded Michigan State in Saturday's semifinals.

"Winning the tournament, the main thing is just about desire," said Brent Darby, who made four free throws in the final 39 seconds to seal the victory. "So we just want to take each game one by one and not look past anybody.

"We can't afford to do that, anyway."

Connolly finished with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Darby had 16 points, six assists and just one turnover.

Ohio State shot 46 percent from the floor while holding Wisconsin to 34 percent. The Badgers also had 11 turnovers, including two very costly ones in the final 45 seconds.

Kirk Penney led the Badgers with 14 points, and Alando Tucker had 13. Devin Harris was just 2-of-11 from the floor with three assists and three turnovers.

With the loss, the Badgers (22-7) became the third top seed - and the second from the state of Wisconsin - to fall in the opening game of a conference tournament. Arizona, the No. 1 team in the country, was upset by UCLA in the Pac-10, while Marquette was embarrassed by UAB in the Conference USA tournament.

"It's very difficult to get things done when you're shooting a percentage like that," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "Teams that stay alive right now are the teams that can knock some shots down.

"The amazing thing is, it was a one- or two-possession game and we weren't making shots."

Wisconsin hadn't played in eight days but it started well, making five 3-pointers to open the game. But Ohio State abandoned its zone defense and went to man-to-man, and the Badgers couldn't get past it.

They finally found a way to get inside at the start of the second half, opening with an 11-1 run to take a 36-31 lead. Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien called a timeout and chastised his team.

"I got on them pretty good," O'Brien said, laughing. "I thought we came out lethargic in the second half, and I just really challenged them. We just were not guarding. We just needed to get focused again and pick it up like we finished the first half."

That's just what the Buckeyes did. They held Wisconsin scoreless for the next 4 1/2 minutes while they went on a 9-0 run to take the lead for good.

"Coach did a great job of getting us back into the game," Darby said. "He just basically let us know, if we're not going to step up, we're going to lose this game. Those weren't his exact words, but that was the message that we got."

Wisconsin had a chance to make it interesting after Connolly's jumper gave Ohio State a 51-45 lead with 2:53 to play. But the Badgers turned the ball over and then, on their next possession, missed a 3-pointer.

Harris snagged the rebound and kicked it out to Freddie Owens, who hit a 3 to pull Wisconsin within 51-48 with 1 1/2 minutes left.

Zach Williams missed a layup in heavy traffic at the other end, knocking over Penney in the process. Wisconsin wanted a foul, but Velimir Radinovich grabbed the ball and scored on the layup to give Ohio State a 53-48 lead.

Harris drew a quick foul and made both shots, cutting Ohio State's lead to 53-50 with 55 seconds left. Connolly then missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Badgers got the rebound.

But Harris lost control of the ball under the basket, and the Badgers were forced to foul. Darby made both, and then the Badgers committed yet another turnover, this one when Owens tossed the ball away.

Ohio State's inbounds pass hit the basket and landed in Wisconsin guard Clayton Hanson's hands, but he missed a long 3-pointer. The Badgers fouled Darby again, and he made both shots.

"We were in the game at the end," Penney said. "We just didn't do the job."

OHIO ST. (16-13) - Sylvester 1-2 1-2 3, Jenkins 2-8 0-0 4, Radinovic 2-3 2-3 6, Connolly 8-12 0-1 21, Darby 4-9 8-8 16, Bass 0-1 0-0 0, Fuss-Cheatham 0-3 0-0 0, Jernigan 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 4-7 0-0 8. Totals 21-46 11-14 58.

WISCONSIN (22-7) - Penney 5-12 0-0 14, Tucker 5-7 2-7 13, Wilkinson 2-12 0-1 4, Owens 4-5 0-0 10, Harris 2-11 4-4 9, Wade 0-2 0-0 0, Hanson 0-4 0-0 0, Helmigk 0-0 0-0 0, Buchanan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-53 6-12 50.

Halftime-Ohio St. 30-25. 3-Point goals-Ohio St. 5-9 (Connolly 5-7, Darby 0-2), Wisconsin 8-28 (Penney 4-9, Owens 2-3, Tucker 1-2, Harris 1-7, Wade 0-1, Hanson 0-2, Wilkinson 0-4). Fouled out-Wilkinson. Rebounds-Ohio St. 33 (Jenkins 7), Wisconsin 32 (Wilkinson 9). Assists-Ohio St. 10 (Darby 6), Wisconsin 13 (Penney, Owens, Harris 3). Total fouls-Ohio St. 17, Wisconsin 16. A-N/A.

IU strengthens case for NCAAs

CHICAGO - A.J. Moye powered Indiana's comeback Friday night, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second half as the Hoosiers ended Michigan's season with a 63-56 win in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

The Wolverines (17-13) can't play past the conference tournament because of school-imposed sanctions stemming from an investigation into a former booster's dealings.

Indiana (20-11) moves on to today's semifinals against Illinois after a hard-earned quarterfinal victory that saw the Hoosiers rally from an eight-point second-half deficit.

Jeff Newton and Tom Coverdale added 15 points each for Indiana, which held on in the final 1:17 when Coverdale and freshmen Bracey Wright and Marshall Strickland made two free throws each.

LaVell Blanchard led Michigan with 21 points and Bernard Robinson Jr. added 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Michigan guard Daniel Horton sprained his ankle in practice Thursday and was on crutches Friday morning, but the Big Ten freshman of the year was able to start, wearing a wrap on the ankle.

Horton, who averaged 15.7 points a game, hit an early 3-pointer that turned out to be his only points of the night.

He picked up three fouls in the first half and his movement was obviously hampered by the ankle.

Michigan ran off the game's first seven points and led 30-25 at the half, holding Indiana to 33 percent shooting.

Trailing by eight early in the second half, Indiana caught up behind the strong inside play of the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Moye.

Moye scored 12 points, including a three-point play and a 3-pointer, and then sank two free throws with 10:36 left to tie the game at 44.

Michigan went back up by four, but again the Hoosiers responded and took their first lead with 6:03 left on Moye's three-point play after a driving layup at 51-50.

Robinson made two free throws to give Michigan its last lead at 52-51.

Coverdale then hit a 3-pointer after an offensive rebound by Newton to put the Hoosiers ahead 54-52 and Newton made it a four-point lead with two from the line.

Moye drew a charge on Horton and made 1 of 2 from the line for a 57-52 lead.

Michigan's Graham Brown dunked with 1:20 to go and was fouled but after missing the free throw for a three-point play, he fouled out with the Wolverines trailing 57-54.

From there, the Hoosiers went to the line and sealed the win.

INDIANA (20-11)-Wright 2-8 4-4 8, Newton 5-9 5-6 15, Leach 0-1 0-0 0, Coverdale 4-13 4-4 15, Strickland 0-5 3-4 3, Moye 6-6 5-7 18, Hornsby 1-5 1-2 3, Roberts 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 18-47 23-29 63.

Michigan (17-13)-Robinson 5-16 4-4 15, Blanchard 7-15 4-4 21, Brown 3-4 0-1 6, Abram 3-6 2-2 9, Horton 1-6 0-0 3, Groninger 0-2 0-0 0, Hunter 1-3 0-2 2. Totals 20-52 10-13 56.

Halftime-Michigan 30, Indiana 25. 3-Point goals-Indiana 4-24 (Coverdale 3-12, Moye 1-1, Hornsby 0-3, Strickland 0-3, Wright 0-5), Michigan 6-18 (Blanchard 3-7, Robinson 1-1, Abram 1-3, Horton 1-5, Groninger 0-2). Fouled out-Brown. Rebounds-Indiana 29 (Coverdale, Newton 6), Michigan 38 (Robinson 11).

No. 13 Illinois 94, Northwestern 65

CHICAGO - Brian Cook had his sixth double-double of the season to lead four players scoring in double figures Friday night as Illinois routed Northwestern 94-65 in the Big Ten Tournament.

Cook, the Big Ten's leading scorer and player of the year, had 20 points and 12 rebounds despite playing just 27 minutes. Roger Powell added 14 points and Dee Brown had 10 points and nine assists as No. 13 Illinois (22-6) won for the sixth time in its last seven games.

The Illini, seeded No. 2, will play Indiana (20-11) in today's semifinals. They shot 52 percent, including 65 in the first half when they took control with a 27-4 run.

Davor Duvancic led the Wildcats (12-17) with a career-high 20 points.

NORTHWESTERN (12-17)-Young 1-12 2-2 5, Burke 1-4 5-6 7, Jennings 2-9 0-0 5, Parker 4-13 2-2 11, Hachad 2-5 0-0 4, Blake 1-3 4-4 7, Seacat 2-6 0-0 6, Duvancic 5-9 9-9 20, Towne 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-61 22-23 65.

ILLINOIS (22-6)-Cook 5-11 8-10 20, Powell 5-7 2-5 14, Augustine 1-3 1-1 3, Williams 3-5 2-2 8, Brown 4-8 0-0 10, Head 2-3 2-2 6, Ferguson 1-3 4-6 6, Harrington 3-5 0-0 8, Howard 0-4 0-0 0, Huge 0-1 2-2 2, Wilson 1-2 5-6 7, Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 5-5 0-0 10. Totals 30-58 26-34 94.

Halftime-Illinois 47-21. 3-point goals-Northwestern 7-26 (Seacat 2-6, Duvancic 1-1, Blake 1-3, Jennings 1-3, Parker 1-4, Young 1-5, Burke 0-2, Hachad 0-2), Illinois 8-24 (Powell 2-3, Harrington 2-3, Cook 2-4, Brown 2-5, Williams 0-1, Head 0-1, Ferguson 0-1, Huge 0-1, Wilson 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Howard 0-3). Fouled out-Augustine. Rebounds-Northwestern 35 (Hachad 7), Illinois 41 (Cook 12). Assists-Northwestern 14 (Hachad 5), Illinois 22 (Brown 9). Total fouls-Northwestern 22, Illinois 23. Technical-Northwestern coach Carmody. A-NA.

Michigan State 54, Purdue 42

CHICAGO - Alan Anderson and Erazem Lorbek scored 10 points each and the Spartans' defense dominated as Michigan State won its fifth straight game. The Spartans (19-11) will play Ohio State in today's semifinals.

Michigan State held Purdue to its lowest scoring output of the season, including just 12 points in the first half - the Boilermakers' worst scoring half since 1982.

Willie Deane led the Boilermakers (18-10) with 16 points, but was just 5-of-17 from the field.

Purdue made just four of 20 first-half field goal attempts, going more than seven minutes without a point and managing just one free throw over the final 6:27. The Boilermakers had 16 first-half turnovers.

Michigan State, which also shot poorly (32 percent), scored the final 10 points for a 24-12 halftime lead.

Temple surprises sloppy Musketeers
Daugherty: Chaney makes Xavier look bad
Temple defense defines outcome

Wildcats survive slow start to defeat Vanderbilt in SEC
UK sets sights on No. 1 ranking
A-10: Dayton beats St. Joe's, reaches final
Big 10: OSU latest team to oust a No. 1 seed
C-USA: No. 20 Louisville tops No. 16 Memphis
MAC: Central Michigan, Kent advance to final
SEC: Tigers send Gators packing
Top 25: Tech shocks Texas
Hunter backs up his antics with results
NKU men sent to early exit
Twenty years later, still extraordinary
High seeds will hit the road in women's tournament
Tournaments at a glance

Every pitch precious to Williams
Tigers 10, Reds 5; Red Sox 8, Reds 5
Promise of power prompts signing
Astros sign Chen
Winn figures he can't lose as Piniella's 'replacement'
Pirates add Lofton to outfield

Kitna benefits from Bengals' math
Ex-Bearcat Jackson could be next addition to D
Chargers allowing Seau to seek trade
Coach's call helped Stewart choose Bears
Pace's agent asks Rams for a trade
League looking into offer to Coles

Boys teams are striving for berths at state
Chaminade-Julienne in final
Whiteoak falls in Division IV
Simon Kenton 54, Highlands 46
St. Henry 63, Holmes 50
Brossart loses in 10th Region
Prep results, schedules

Begay, Peoples share Honda lead at 14 under

Frankel to saddle Fla. Derby favorite

As The Sports World Turns

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