Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, March 21, 2015

Ohio State senior Sam Thompson had a team-best 18 points, but it wasn't enough as Arizona defeated OSU 73-58 in a third round NCAA Tournament game on Saturday. senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his rapid reaction from the game.

The star: This game was billed by some as a battle of freshman stars, with Ohio State?s D?Angelo Russell taking on Arizona?s Stanley Johnson. But neither excelled. Russell-who had 28 points vs. VCU in OSU?s opening NCAA win–hit just 3-of-19 shots for nine points, but he did have seven rebounds and six assists. Johnson connected on only 1-of-12 shots for four points but managed 10 rebounds. Arizona?s Gabe York ended up being the unlikely star with 19 points off the bench.

The stat: 12, the number of Ohio State turnovers compared to just nine assists for the Buckeyes. Couple that with 38.5 percent shooting and getting killed in rebounding, and you can see why Ohio State lost to No. 2 Arizona.

The key to victory: Arizona hammered Ohio State on the glass, holding a 40-26 edge. The Wildcats were especially effective on the offensive glass, grabbing 15 boards. Arizona was too big for the Buckeyes to deal with, time and again getting good shots right at the rim.

It was over when: The Wildcats found their range from the perimeter. Arizona led by two at half, 26-25, and pushed its edge to seven at the 15:24 mark of the second half, as the Wildcats found their stroke over the Buckeye zone defense-which they rarely used during the season. The Pac-12 champs pulled away from there, outscoring Ohio State 47-33 in the second half to advance to the Sweet 16.

What?s next: The season is over for the Buckeyes, who finished 24-11 and will say ?goodbye? to seniors Sam Thompson, Shannon Scott and Amir Williams. And will freshman sensation D?Angelo Russell turn pro?

Notable: Russell?s 16 missed shots were his most in a game this season and the most by an Ohio State player in the NCAA Tournament since Jim Jackson missed 19 (7-of-26) in a win against UConn in 1992.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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