2012 Ohio State Basketball
Buckeyes Bounce Back in Minnesota
When teams are faced with adversity, they will often go one of two ways; either they will give up, start pointing fingers and begin to play selfishly, or they will fight together, bounce back and become stronger.
Ohio State All-American Jared Sullinger called his team out after Saturday's loss at home to the Michigan State Spartans by saying that the Buckeyes played like a bunch of "spoiled brats".
On Tuesday, the Buckeyes responded, reverting back to an unselfish brand of basketball with a 78-68 victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
William Buford bucketed a game-high 24 points while Sullinger backed up his words by dominating inside with 23 points and eight rebounds.
"Hopefully from the time leading up, they understood how I felt about this game and what we needed to do to win the game," Matta said.
"We played harder today than we did Saturday, for sure. We need to keep up this effort," Buford said following the victory.
Buford wasn't just scoring; he also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists for the Buckeyes (22-4, 10-3). His performance was a complete 180 from his game on Saturday when he tallied only four points on 2-for-12 shooting.
With Sullinger drawing most of Minnesota's attention defensively on the black, Buford was able to take advantage of open jump shots on the wing. He came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, scoring the Buckeyes first seven points.
Ohio State pulled away with a 20-0 run over a 7-plus minute span in the first half to build a 21-point lead.
Minnesota stormed back and used a 12-1 spurt to sneak back before the half. The Gophers got within eight points late, but the lead was too much to overcome as the Buckeyes cruised to victory in the second half.
Rodney Williams had 21 points, nine rebounds and two blocks for the Gophers (17-9, 5-8), who fall into 10th place in the Big Ten. Julian Welch added 11 points, nine assists and five rebounds, and Oto Osenieks chipped in 10 points and four rebounds off the bench.
Minnesota will look to get back on the winning path as they travel to Northwestern to take on the Wildcats on Saturday.
The Buckeyes will also play on Saturday, traveling North to square off against their arch rivals, the 19th ranked Michigan Wolverines whom they already defeated 64-49 earlier this season.
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