Buckeyes win 7th straight
NEW YORK (AP) — Keita Bates-Diop had 17 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season, leading No. 22 Ohio State over Minnesota 67-49 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday for its seventh straight win.
Ohio State’s first-year coach Chris Holtmann is the third Big Ten coach to win his first eight conference games. Sam Barry won 11 straight for Iowa in 1923 and Walter Meanwell holds the record with 12 for Wisconsin in 1912.
The Buckeyes (17-4, 8-0 Big Ten) used a 24-2 burst to overcome a 10-point deficit midway through the first half. They stayed in control, and went on to match last season’s win total — with 10 regular season game remaining — to remain in a first-place tie with No. 3 Purdue (19-2, 8-0).
Minnesota was held to just six field goals (28.6 percent) in the second half with 10 turnovers.
Kaleb Wesson added 15 points and eight rebounds for Ohio State. Bates-Diop reached 1,000 career points, with his fourth point against Minnesota, to become the 55th Buckeye to do so. Jae’Sean Tate had 10 points, six rebounds and five assists and trails Brent Darby (1,368) by 14 points for the 26th spot on the school’s scoring list.
The Buckeyes have won 12 of their last 13, with a neutral-site loss to then-No. 5 North Carolina.
Amir Coffey, who missed five games because of a shoulder injury, scored 11 points in 35 minutes for the Golden Gophers (14-8, 3-6). Jordan Murphy had 13 points and Dupree McBrayer, a Queens native playing for the first time in the Garden, added 10 points. Minnesota turned it over 15 times and Ohio State scored 22 points off of them for a 22-3 edge in the category.
The game was part of a two-sport Big Ten doubleheader at MSG. At night, Minnesota and Michigan State were set to meet in hockey in the third annual Super Saturday. The starting game times were separated by eight hours to prepare the playing surfaces.
Ohio State: Bates-Diop, who leads the Big Ten in scoring at 19.8 points per game, had his third career and second straight Big Ten player of the week on Monday after averaging 23 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in 33 minutes last week. He had scored 20-plus in four straight game before netting just 10 points Wednesday at Northwestern on 4-of-12 shooting. … Bates-Diop was just 7 of 21 from the field, including 0 of 6 from distance, against the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers are missing two of their best players; injured guard Amir Coffey (shoulder), who missed his fifth straight game, and senior center Reggie Lynch, who’s been suspended since Jan. 5. … The Gophers have lost five of their last six — with the last three games coming in a six-day span.
Minnesota: Host Northwestern on Tuesday.
Ohio State: Host Nebraska on Monday.