COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—On a night when several things went wrong for No. 17 Ohio State, David Lighty carried the scoring load and Evan Turner again put up some startling numbers.
Lighty scored a career-high 22 points and Turner had his second triple-double of the season to lead the sluggish Buckeyes past Lipscomb 84-64 on Tuesday.
“Yeah, it was a little frustrating,” Lighty said about the Buckeyes’ inability to push aside the Bisons. “But they were making shots. You’ve got to give them credit. They never gave up, they kept coming at us. We’d go back to the huddle and we’d look up and we’d only have (added) one point to the lead we had. It was a little frustrating, but we didn’t give up as well. At the end they kind of wore down.”
Turner, who missed his first five shots, finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. In the season-opening 100-60 win over Alcorn State, he had the second recorded triple-double at Ohio State with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists.
In this one, Turner got off to a horrible start. At one point he had four turnovers, no points, two assists and three rebounds.
Is there such a thing as a quiet triple-double?
“You saw it tonight. That’s the definition right there,” Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said. “He’s a great player and I thought he really did some things down the stretch to help us.”
Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said his game plan was designed to prevent Turner, who plays the point for the Buckeyes, from driving.
“He had five turnovers in the first half and in the second half he has none,” Sanderson said. “That’s what good players do—once they don’t play particularly well in the first half they go to another level in the second half.”
Jon Diebler added 17 points, Dallas Lauderdale 13 and Jeremie Simmons 11 for Ohio State (4-1).
Adnan Hodzic had 18 points and Michael Teller 11 for Lipscomb (0-4), which was chasing its second straight win over a Big Ten team. The Bisons beat Indiana 74-69 last December.
“It’s a funny thing. I was nervous going into this game because I told our guys, I said, ‘This is the best 0-3 team that I’ve ever seen,”’ Matta said. “They’ve got guys who know how to play.”
Lighty was one of the few Buckeyes who played well offensively all night. They appeared to be heavy-legged and listless after returning home from splitting two games at Madison Square Garden last week while finishing third in the 2K Sports Classic.
Lighty hit nine of 14 shots from the field and matched his career high with three 3-pointers in as many attempts. He also had seven rebounds.
“It doesn’t matter how many points I score, as long as I go out there and do what I need to do and shut my man down,” the defensive specialist said. “The man I was checking today had eight points and he’s averaging 18. I’d take that any day.”
The Buckeyes were out of sync most of the night despite shooting 58 percent from the field. They hit just seven of 17 free throws, making only one of their first nine.
Lauderdale got a loud, derisive ovation from the crowd of 11,555 at Value City Arena when he hit both free throws with 3:48 left. To that point, he was 1 for 6 at the line.
“Man, that’s horrible,” he said. “I need to start shooting 1,000 free throws a day. I don’t even want to talk about that. That’s unacceptable on my part. I’m going to fix that.”
Lipscomb, which came in giving up 93 points a game, more than held its own for most of the night. The Bisons never led in the second half but refused to let Ohio State pull away.
The Buckeyes, ahead by nine at halftime, scored the first six points after the break on Turner’s steal and layup, Lighty’s follow and then his tip.
But the Bisons got as close as eight points and stayed within a dozen until the final few minutes.
Matta credited Lipscomb but also said his team didn’t have its head in the game.
“If I knew the answer (why), I’d be a genius,” he said. “I told the guys there are teams across the country that some are making strides forward, some are kind of staying still. We have to be one of those teams that are constantly moving forward.”