Wesson’s dunk sends Ohio State over Indiana
Women unable to stop Iowa’s Gustafson
Ohio State’s Andre Wesson kept fighting through the muck Sunday.
When he finally got free in the final minute, he stole a win.
Wesson forced a game-changing turnover in the final minute and then slipped behind one defender and got to the basket for a tie-breaking dunk with 20 seconds left to give the Buckeyes a 55-52 victory over Indiana.
“This is kind of the Andre I’ve seen since he got here,” said C.J. Jackson, whose long, shot-clock beating 3 tied the score with 71 seconds left. “He’s playing unbelievable for us right now and we’re going to need his scoring, his ability to do everything he does on the court for us.”
Sunday’s game was a perfect example of how valuable Wesson can be.
While his teammates struggled to get in sync offensively, the junior forward continually made an impact. He finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals — none bigger than the one he had with 42 seconds to go that prevented Indiana from taking a potential go-ahead shot.
And when it mattered most, Wesson played perfectly.
“They slipped him out. Our rotation was there. I thought Romeo (Langford) had a chance to make maybe a blocked shot, but he got it off the glass quickly,” Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said. “Our help obviously didn’t get there in time.”
Wesson’s younger brother, Kaleb, and Jackson each scored 10 points and were the only other players to reach double figures for the resurgent Buckeyes (16-7, 6-6 Big Ten), who have won three straight.
Indiana (13-11, 4-9), meanwhile, continues to struggle. It has lost nine of 10.
The Hoosiers fought valiantly to overcome another dismal shooting performance and finally got the crowd into the game when Langford made his second 3 in a 9-0 run to tie the score at 47 with 4:54 left. Langford finished with 15 points.
Devonte Green’s long, buzzer-beating 3 sent the fans into a frenzy as Indiana took 52-49 lead with 1:46 to play.
But Jackson matched Green’s basket and Wesson won it with his defense and his offense.
“We just knew they were going to be heavy on the ball screen so we tried to slip him out and put Kaleb high,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “I thought Andre did a great job finishing and the pass was perfect.”
Megan Gustafson had 19 of her 29 points in the second half when No. 16 Iowa pulled away for a 78-52 win over Ohio State on Sunday in Columbus.
Kathleen Doyle added 16 points for the Hawkeyes (19-5, 10-3 Big Ten), who have won three straight and eight of the last nine.
Gustafson also had 16 rebounds for her 77th career double-double, tying the conference record with former Ohio State star Jantel Lavender. Last Monday, Gustafson received her record 20th conference player of the week award, one more than Lavender. Gustafson has scored 20 or more points in 12 of 13 conference games and 21 overall to lead the nation at 27.2 points a game.
Doyle and Gustafson combined for the first eight points of the game and the Hawkeyes led 19-9 after one quarter. Aaliyah Patty scored eight in the second quarter and her layup at the 2:52 mark gave Ohio State at 27-26 lead. Dorka Juhasz led the Buckeyes (10-12, 6-7) with 12 points.
Iowa shot 69 percent in the second half while the Buckeyes were at 28. The Hawkeyes lead the nation in shooting at 52.3 percent.