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24-0 Buckeyes stomp Gophers

Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger, who had 18 points, works on Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe in the second half.

Associated Press

Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger, who had 18 points, works on Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe in the second half.

MINNEAPOLIS — Jared Sullinger and still-unbeaten Ohio State didn't back down or let up.

Another unflappable performance by the 6-foot-9, 280-pound freshman left Minnesota coach Tubby Smith wondering what happened to his big men and planning more time for his team in the weight room.

David Lighty had 19 points, Sullinger had 18 points and 13 rebounds, William Buford and Jon Diebler made three 3-pointers each and the top-ranked Buckeyes beat No. 18 Minnesota 82-69 on Sunday.

"You can see the difference in experienced, physical players: They just kind of shoved us out of the way," Smith said.

Every starter for Ohio State (24-0, 11-0 Big Ten) scored 10 or more to help stretch the second-longest winning streak in school history, creeping toward the record of 32.

Buford added 15 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals, and the Buckeyes checked another opponent off the list in this challenging month. Up next is a trip to No. 19 Wisconsin on Saturday, and after a home game against Michigan State, the Buckeyes travel to play No. 11 Purdue.

They have won 12 straight conference road games dating to last season.

"We're never scared," Sullinger said. "Even on the road, or at home, we just keep playing basketball. That's what we do."

The Gophers are sorely lacking those floor leaders, particularly while senior point guard Al Nolen is out with a broken foot. Blake Hoffarber led Minnesota (16-7, 5-6) with 16 points, playing the second half with a limp and a brace on his left knee after bumping it on the court and hurting the bursa sac. He is playing out of position and had four turnovers.

"We were just careless with the ball. Those are the kind of mistakes we can't have in a game like this, or in any game," said Austin Hollins, who started in place of Colton Iverson and finished with eight points.

NO. 9 NOTRE DAME 76, RUTGERS 69: Ben Hansbrough had 25 points and Carleton Scott 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead the host Irish (19-4, 8-3) to their fifth straight win.

NO. 19 WISCONSIN 82, MICH. ST. 56: Jordan Taylor had 30 points as the host Badgers (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) handed the Spartans their fifth loss in six games and fell just shy of their biggest win ever over Michigan State, a 27-point victory in 1972.

Women

VANDY 103, UF 97, 2OT: Tiffany Clarke and Stephanie Holzer had 23 points each and Clarke added a career-high 13 rebounds for the visiting Commodores. The Gators (14-11, 4-7 SEC) erased an 80-74 deficit in the final 2:17 of regulation to force overtime.

NO. 1 BAYLOR 84, OKLA. ST. 57: Brittney Griner had 19 points and Destiny Williams 17 for the visiting Bears (21-1, 8-0 Big 12), off to the best start in school history.

NO. 10 UCLA 74, USC 67: Darxia Morris had a career-high 24 points, Jasmine Dixon added 23 and the visiting Bruins (19-2, 9-1 Pac-10) pulled away late to win their fourth straight over their crosstown rivals.

NO. 11 MICH. ST. 76, PURDUE 57: Brittney Thomas had a career-high 22 points for the Spartans (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten), who matched the best start in school history with their 18th straight win at home.

NO. 12 MARYLAND 88, N.C. STATE 59: Lynetta Kizer had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the host Terrapins (20-3, 6-2 ACC) rallied in the second half.

PENN ST. 82, NO. 20 IOWA 75: Alex Bentley had 25 points as the Nittany Lions won their fourth straight and handed the host Hawkeyes (17-7, 5-6 Big Ten) their second loss in a week.

NO. 24 GEORGIA 81, ALABAMA 54: Freshman reserve guard Khaalidah Miller had 22 points to lead the host Bulldogs (18-5, 8-2 SEC).

24-0 Buckeyes stomp Gophers 02/06/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 6, 2011 7:30pm]

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