March 11, 2004
Bloomington, Ind. - Led by a record-setting performance by Ryan Tapak, eighth-seeded Indiana claimed an 83-69 win over ninth-seeded Ohio State in first-round action at the Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse Thursday.
The Hoosiers improved to 14-14 on the year, with Ohio State ending its season at 14-16.
The Buckeyes raced out to a 31-20 lead behind hot shooting from outside, but Tapak sparked an 11-0 Indiana run with two three-pointers and an assist on an A.J. Moye three. Tapak had three more assists before the half ended and was a large reason for the Hoosiers going into the locker room with a 41-35 advantage.
Tapak finished the game by matching Mateen Cleaves' single-game Big Ten Tournament record of 11 assists. His 11 assists set a new Indiana single-game Big Ten Tournament record and were the most for a Hoosier in any game since Tom Coverdale dished out 12 against Alaska-Anchorage on November 21, 2001.
The Hoosiers did not allow Ohio State the lead at any point of the second half, thanks in large part to some key buckets at key times by Tapak, Mark Johnson (who finished with a career-high 13 points) and Bracey Wright (who scored a team-high 20 points).
Johnson's scoring effort Thursday more than doubled his career scoring total entering the game, while Wright's performance marked his first 20-point scoring game in a month.
Wright became the 39th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career in the contest. He is one of only 10 Hoosiers to reach the milestone in 60 games or less. He now has 1,010 career points.
The Hoosiers' grit was enough to counter off the hot-shooting Buckeyes, who finished the game by draining 23-of-42 attempts from the field (54.8 percent).
Indiana battles top-seeded and No. 12/13 Illinois at noon Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse in the quarterfinals. The game will be televised live by ESPN and broadcast live throughout the Indiana Basketball Radio Network.
The Hoosiers lost a 51-49 decision to Illinois at Assembly Hall earlier in the year.