COLUMBUS - Evan Turner is only the second player in recorded Ohio State history to have a triple double but now he is the first to have two after putting up 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 boards against a feisty Lipscomb (0-4) team that kept things close for most of the first half before finally getting out gunned 84-64 by the Buckeyes (4-1).
There was a far different feeling around this triple double however and Turner admitted that he was exhausted after this game, a game where he played for 39 minutes. But Turner was humble about his outing and took a lot of blame coming out of the gate scoring two points in the first half.
"I think our intensity might have been a bit down and that could have been coming from me but I don't know," Turner said.
Lipscomb played things close in the first half and cut things to one point at the two minute mark after a three pointer by Josh Slater to make it 28-27. Ohio State's intensity seemed to pick up late in the first half and carried over to the second half as the Buckeyes went on a 14-0 run that was paced by a pair of Jon Diebler three pointers.
"Lipscomb is a great team and we know that every team that comes into the Schottenstein (Center) is going to give us their best game," Dallas Lauderdale said.
And Lipscomb's best was enough to give the Ohio State coaching staff some restless moments as they were watching film of the Bisons leading up to the game.
"I was nervous going into this game because I told our guys that this is the best 0-3 team that I have ever seen," Matta said. "This is a game where you come out and get the win and move forward."
Diebler and David Lighty carried the load in the first half scoring more than half of the Buckeye points as the Buckeyes took a nine point lead to the locker room. Matta admitted that he didn't go crazy on the team during the break but he did make his message clear to the team in preparations for the second half.
"Our minds weren't right," Lauderdale said. "That is what coach was saying in the locker room, we didn't start the game with our minds right and that is our fault. We are the only people that can get ourselves ready to play the game."
The second half is where the Buckeyes started to come to life with Lighty putting up 14 of his 22 and Turner went from two points to 16 en route to his triple double.
"He's just a good player," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said "He is obviously a very, very good player and he had five turnovers in the first half and in the second half he had none, that is what good players do… once they don't play particularly well in the first half they will go to another level in the second half.
Matta didn't even know that Turner was closing in on the rare feat for a second time during the season but the crowd was more than aware of Turner's accomplishment and at the 2:51 mark Turner grabbed his 10th board of the night to finish it off.
"I had no idea where he was," Matta said. "But he is a great player and I thought he really did some things down the stretch to help us."
Turner's triple double very well could have been overshadowed however by Lighty's play, his 22 points is a career high and the Cleveland (Ohio) native who is known as more of a defensive player led all scorers in the game as an offensive player.
"I just tried to use my advantage, my quickness, my strength on a slower defender and just attack," Lighty said. "My shot was falling for me tonight."
But the defensive minded Lighty was just as proud if not more about holding Slater to eight points on the other side and seemed to find more gratification in that accomplishment.
The Buckeyes play again on Saturday after the Thanksgiving break against St. Francis (Pa.) but there will be plenty to work on as the team practices over the holidays (the team will get Wednesday off). The Bucks shot an abysmal 7-17 from the charity stripe and Lauderdale led the way going 3-8. Things got so bad that he got a Bronx Cheer from the fans after he made a pair of free throws after starting out 1-6. Lauderdale took it all in stride and knew that he deserved the razzing.
"That was horrible, I need to start shooting 1,000 free throws a day," Lauderdale said. "I don't want to talk about that because it is unacceptable."
Lauderdale and his teammates will only have one more game to figure it out before a big home tilt against Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC challenge on December 2nd.