INDIANAPOLIS - In the first possession of the second overtime in yesterday's Big Ten semifinal win over Illinois, Ohio State's Jon Diebler nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key. The Buckeyes, who had been unable to shake the Illini all day, never trailed again.
The shot put Ohio State (26-7) ahead to stay, and it put Diebler in the record book as the most prolific scorer from outside the arc in OSU history.
Diebler's triple in that decisive second overtime gave him 243 for his career, passing Jamar Butler who had 242.
Diebler said the record hardly mattered at the time.
"That's great, to get the record and all, but at the time all I could think about was that we needed the points," the junior guard said.
"We had been going back and forth with Illinois all afternoon and I just felt like we needed to hit a couple of shots to get a little run going and get some room. I missed a couple earlier that I thought were in, so it felt good to hit one when we needed it most."
Diebler had four triples in the win over Illinois, giving him 99 this season. His personal best had been 96, which was set last season.
"I think Jon Diebler is a tremendous basketball player, and a lot of times throughout his career, he's gone very unnoticed," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said about Diebler, who played his high school basketball at Fostoria and Upper Sandusky, and is Ohio's career scoring leader. "But he doesn't care, he just wants to win. I love that about him."
EXTRA TIME: Yesterday's win was the first overtime game this season for the Buckeyes. It was Ohio State's first double-overtime game since a loss to Michigan State in the 2005-06 season.
"It's tense when it's going on, but I think it is definitely a beneficial thing for us to be involved in close games like this, and the Michigan game," Ohio State junior Dallas Lauderdale said.
The Buckeyes needed a last-second shot from Evan Turner to get by the Wolverines in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten tournament.
"We're going to be playing in tough games in the NCAA tournament, so if we've already been there and already experienced it, that has to be a good thing."
TRASH TALK: Illinois players tried to defend Ohio State's Evan Turner with double-teams and some trash talk. Turner said the chatter from the Illini inspired him to play harder, and 20 of his 31 points came in the second half and the overtimes.
"It definitely got me going," Turner said. "I don't really show emotion, but for them to start running their mouths, they really, really annoyed me. I knew we were a tougher team, with everything we've been through. I knew what we had was tougher than what they had."
- Matt Markey39.76691 -86.14996