COLUMBUS - A night of great performances were trumped by one performance as Evan Turner became only the second Buckeye ever to record a triple-double as he put up 14 points, 17 rebounds and ten assists en route to an Ohio State 100-60 rout of Alcorn State in the season opening game for the Buckeyes. Jon Diebler threw in 22 points and William Buford had 19 as well pacing an Ohio State team that dominated from whistle to whistle on Monday night.
Turner joins Dennis Hopson in the Ohio State record books with Hopson turning the first ever Buckeye triple double against Ohio University in December of 1986. Just to show the length of history of that stat, none of the current Buckeyes were even close to being born when that feat was recorded.
Evan's night was all the more impressive with the fact that he had 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the first half of the game, a half where he played 19 of the 20 minutes. Of course no player wants to focus too much on the stats of an individual but the rest of the team took notice with Turner's big night.
"I am really fortunate that we won the game tonight and my teammates hit some big, big shots and we had a good team win," a humble Turner said after the game.
Turner's teammates however were more than happy to oblige in handing out the praises for their teammate and his big feat.
"I'm excited for him," Diebler said. "He deserves this more than anyone after all the late nights shooting the ball around."
But Turner's triple double was only a sidebar to a big win for the Buckeyes, a game that saw five players score in double figures and 50 percent-plus shooting from the floor.
"It got away from us early" Alcorn State head coach Larry Smith said. "They came out fired up, knocking shots down and we couldn't stop them from doing anything."
The Buckeyes jumped all over the Braves and before the second media timeout already had a 15 point lead. That lead would swell to 28 points at the end of the half when Buford nailed a triple with four seconds left on the clock.
It was much more of the same in the second half as the Buckeyes had their way with Alcorn State and at one point led the game by 51 points before giving up a little run at the end to close it down to its eventual 40 point margin. All-in-all head coach Thad Matta was happy with what he saw.
"I thought we did a pretty decent job of sustaining our intensity throughout the game," Matta said. "I think you get a sizable lead and one of my big worries was us taking care of the basketball and I thought that our guys did a very good job of that."
That would be evidenced by Ohio State's 29 assist to six turnover ratio, a margin that Matta admitted that he would take any night but there won't be many nights like Monday night where a team can be nearly 5:1 in that ratio.
Immediate preparations will be made for James Madison on Thursday to finish off the first leg of the 2K Sports Classic before the Buckeyes head off to the Big Apple for an eventual tussle with North Carolina but before the team has to put this game in the record book there will still be some backslapping for Turner before practice gets underway on Tuesday.
"The last one I shot because I knew and one of the assistant (coaches) told me the first time we tried it we missed it," Diebler said of the three pointer that he hit at the 7:00 mark to seal the deal for Turner.
What kind of thank you may be in order for helping make the dream a reality?
"My roomie got it done for me so I guess I got to go out and buy him a steak dinner or something," Turner joked.
Ohio State: Diebler 22, Buford 19, Turner 14, Simmons 12, Offutt 11
Alcorn State: Boyd 20, Eackle 13, Holt 9, Francis 9
Ohio State: Turner 17, Sarikopouls 4, Madsen 4, Lighty 4, Diebler 4
Alcorn State: Holt 10, Three tied at 4
Ohio State: Turner 10, Lighty 8, Buford 3
Alcorn State: Boyd 3, Four tied at 1