Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The top two scoring teams in the Big Ten Conference collide on Sunday as the 23rd-ranked Indiana Hoosiers travel to face the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena.
Indiana enters the contest having won its last four games against Big Ten opposition, including a 69-66 victory over then-No. 22 ranked Ohio State earlier this month. Indiana is 5-1 in conference play this season, and is 2-1 away from home.
Ohio State has won two of its last three games, and four of its last six overall. But since starting conference play, the Buckeyes have dropped three contests and have fallen from the Top-25. At home though, they have been nearly unbeatable at 13-1 this season.
This will be the 186th all-time meeting between Indiana and Ohio State. The Hoosiers lead the series, 105-80, and took the three-point decision over the Buckeyes in their last matchup just over two weeks ago.
Indiana took on Maryland in its last outing Thursday night, as the Hoosiers asserted their dominance against one of the newest additions to the Big Ten with an 89-70 victory. Yogi Ferrell scored 24 points to lead the team, adding in five assists. James Blackmon Jr. added 22 points with five rebounds, Troy Williams finished with 16 points and seven boards, and Collin Hartman rounded out the team's double-digit scorers in the win with 15 points. Indiana finished the game shooting a scorching 60 percent from the field.
Indiana's offense ranks first in the Big Ten, as the Hoosiers net 81.9 ppg on 48.3 percent shooting from the floor. Blackmon leads Indiana into Sunday's matchup owning a team-best 16.9 ppg mark, while Ferrell (15.4 ppg) and Williams (13.5 ppg) round out a trio of double-digit scorers this season for the Hoosiers. Ferrell leads Indiana and is fourth in the conference averaging 5.0 apg, and Williams tops Indiana's squad with a 6.2 rpg mark. The Hoosiers ideally need to lower their scoring defense, which surrenders 71.3 ppg to opponents.
Ohio State, led by D'Angelo Russell, torched the nets in the team's last outing against Northwestern - a 69-67 victory over the Wildcats. Russell rounded out a solid stat line of 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists in his team's victory. The freshman connected on 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point range as well. Sam Thompson chipped in with 11 points in the win for the Buckeyes, who shot 52.8 percent from the floor, including a 9-of-19 mark from beyond the arc.
Russell's stellar freshman campaign continues for the Buckeyes, who are second behind Indiana in the Big Ten in terms of scoring at 79.9 ppg. Russell is second in individual scoring in the conference with 19.3 ppg, also adding in a team best in rebounding (5.2 rpg) with 98 assists - second to Shannon Scott's 138 helpers. Marc Loving adds in 11.3 ppg for the Buckeyes, and Thompson contributes 10.3 ppg. What could make the difference for Ohio State is its scoring defense, which hold opponents to 61.5 ppg on 39.4 percent shooting.