COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sam Thompson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, leading No. 24 Ohio State back from a 12-point deficit to a 64-46 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes turned up the pressure on defense and outscored the Golden Gophers 46-18 in the second half after a halftime talking-to from head coach Thad Matta.
“He flat out told us to play better. There were no X’s and O’s, no diagrams. He just told us we needed to be better,” Thompson said.
“We knew we didn’t come out playing the way we usually play,” said junior forward LaQuinton Ross.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 13 points and Shannon Scott 10 for the Buckeyes (22-6, 9-6), who trailed by 10 at the half and by 12 early in the second half before taking control with a 17-0 run and a stifling defense. For the game, OSU held Minnesota to season lows in points, rebounds and assists.
The Golden Gophers beat the Buckeyes 63-53 at home on Jan. 16 by forcing 18 turnovers and grabbing 15 more rebounds.
Andre Hollins had 13 points and DeAndre Mathieu added 12 for Minnesota (17-11, 6-9), which has lost six of its last eight games to slide off the NCAA bubble.