Ohio State is in the midst of what figured to be a difficult three-game stretch through its Big Ten Conference schedule, but the fourth-ranked Buckeyes show no signs of losing the momentum that has propelled them to their best record in 29 years.
Ohio State remained one of only two unbeaten teams in the nation with an 80-70 victory over Minnesota on Thursday night at Minneapolis.
The Buckeyes, coming off a victory over No. 3 Indiana on Monday night, improved their record to 17-0 overall and 7-0 in the Big Ten. Ohio State and top-ranked Nevada Las Vegas are the nation’s only undefeated teams.
“There are times you have to accept things in sports whether you like to or not,” Minnesota Coach Clem Haskins said. “When people are bigger and stronger, you don’t have anything to be ashamed of when you get your fannies kicked.”
Ohio State’s 1962 team won its first 22 games and finished as NCAA runner-up. Ohio State, which is 5-0 in road games and 3-0 at neutral sites, plays No. 22 Michigan State at East Lansing, Mich., next Thursday.
“People say you can’t win on the road in the Big Ten, but I think it’s a mental thing,” said Ohio State’s Jamaal Brown, who scored 17 points against Minnesota. “We like the road and play hard.
“Our coach (Randy Ayers) emphasized that this was a big road game for us. In fact, he made this more important than the Indiana game. He told us we couldn’t look past Minnesota because a loss would have ruined the Indiana win.”
Mark Baker and Perry Carter each scored 15 points for Ohio State, which has outscored opponents by an average of 92.8-65.5 and has won by fewer than 10 points only three times.
Kevin Lynch scored 27 points for Minnesota (9-7, 2-4), which has won three of 10 games since a 6-0 start and lost for only the seventh time in its last 41 games at Williams Arena.
No. 3 Indiana 70, Michigan 60--The Hoosiers rebounded from their defeat at home to Ohio State on by beating the Wolverines in a Big Ten game at Ann Arbor, Mich.
Greg Graham scored 19 points and Calbert Cheaney added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana (17-2, 5-1), which is 6-0 on the road.
The Hoosiers played without freshman Damon Bailey, who warmed up but remained on the bench with a wrap on his bruised left thigh.
Demetrius Calip scored 21 points for Michigan (9-8, 2-5), which has lost four of its last five games with the Hoosiers.
No. 15 Southern Mississippi 84, Louisville 81--The Golden Eagles were without Darrin Chancellor, their leading scorer, but they still won at Louisville for the first time in 12 games on the Cardinals’ home court.
Chancellor, who averages 21.6 points, missed the game because of tendinitis in his right ankle. Clarence Weatherspoon picked up the slack by scoring 25 points for Southern Mississippi (12-1, 6-0), which has won 10 in a row.
Everick Sullivan scored 26 points for Louisville (7-8, 1-5).
No. 20 Utah 55, Colorado State 51--The Rams trailed, 53-51, and had possession with 35 seconds left, but Josh Grant stole the ball and scored on a dunk to clinch the Western Athletic Conference victory for the Utes at Salt Lake City.
Grant scored 17 points as Utah (18-1, 7-0) won its 15th consecutive game.
Doug Larson scored 16 points for Colorado State (9-8, 1-5).
Georgia Tech had a 14-point lead less than 14 minutes in the game and cruised to an 89-68 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Clemson (9-8, 0-5) at Atlanta. Kenny Anderson scored 32 points for Georgia Tech (11-5, 3-2). . . . Elliot Perry scored 22 points, including a three-point shot from the baseline as time ran out that gave Memphis State (10-7, 3-2) a 67-66 Metro Conference victory over Florida State at Memphis. Michael Polite scored 20 points and had 11 rebounds for Florida State (9-7, 3-3).
Texas El Paso did not make a field goal in the final 11:33, but the Miners still beat Hawaii, 60-52, in a WAC game at El Paso. Texas El Paso (12-5, 4-3) made 20 of 28 free throws in the second half. Hawaii is 10-8 and 2-5. . . . Luc Longley scored 23 points and became the third-leading scorer in school history as New Mexico (13-6, 3-2) defeated San Diego State, 79-68, in a WAC game at Albuquerque, N.M. Longley has 1,551 points. Marty Dow scored 19 points for San Diego State (8-9, 3-4).
Gonzaga went on a 22-2 run at the start of the game and never looked back during a 75-64 West Coast Conference victory over Santa Clara at Spokane, Wash. Jarrod Davis scored 19 points for Gonzaga (11-7, 2-3). Santa Clara is 12-8 and 3-3. . . . Steve Schreiner scored 23 points to lead Brigham Young (11-9, 5-2) to a 72-55 WAC victory over Air Force at Provo, Utah. Charles Smith scored 20 points for Air Force (6-10, 0-5).