Indiana gains season split

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at 12:35 a.m.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Relying on tough defense and 15 points from Marshall Strickland, No. 14 Indiana beat Ohio State 69-51 Tuesday night to earn a split in the season series.

The Hoosiers (14-3, 4-1 Big Ten) won their third straight game, all without leading scorer Bracey Wright, and their 10th in a row at home. Wright sat out because of a nerve injury in his back.

Ohio State (8-8, 1-4) was led by Brent Darby, who scored all 18 of his points in the second half after missing his first eight shots. The Buckeyes lost their third straight since beating Indiana in Columbus, Ohio.

The game was a throwback to old-time Big Ten basketball, when physical play dominated.

There were skirmishes, pushes and shoves, and a raucous crowd that helped take Ohio State out of its offense. The Buckeyes scored a season-low 17 points in the first half, shooting 6-of-25 to fall behind 27-17.

Ohio State shot just 26.8 percent for the game.

If the Buckeyes thought things were going to get easier in the second half, Indiana made sure they didn't. Tom Coverdale and Darby got into a shoving match early in the second half, bringing several Buckeyes and Indiana coach Mike Davis off the bench. Ohio State's Nick Sherman was ejected for coming off the bench.

After the Hoosiers opened a 37-27 lead, tempers flared again. George Leach was called for his fourth foul and Jeff Newton was called for a technical, also his fourth foul, on the same play. Ohio State made all four free throws to close to 37-31.

Indiana rebuilt a 43-31 lead on Strickland's 17-footer with 9:33 to go, but Ohio State used a 9-2 run to get to 50-45. The Hoosiers put the game away with a late 12-2 spurt.

No. 16 Norte Dame 71, Providence 65: Chris Thomas scored 23 points and Matt Carroll had 21 as No. 16 Norte Dame (15-3, 3-1) won on the road for the first time this season, beating Providence (9-7, 2-3).

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