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Darby leads inside assault with 28 points

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- On a night when the Ohio State football
team was recognized for winning the national championship, the
basketball team stole a few headlines by using a muscular,
offensive line of its own.

Balancing a punishing inside game with guard Brent Darby's 28
points, the Buckeyes beat No. 15 Indiana 81-69 Saturday night.

With the Buckeyes beaten up and bruised and missing two
starters, coach Jim O'Brien went with a big lineup that included
physical forwards Shun Jenkins and Zach Williams and 7-foot center
Velimir Radinovic.

Jenkins, whose career best coming in was seven points, had 22
points and seven rebounds for Ohio State (8-5, 1-1 Big Ten), while
Williams added 13 points and seven rebounds. Radinovic had eight
points and six rebounds.

"We really hadn't done that before,'' O'Brien said of the big
lineup. "Jenkins was terrific. He and Zach and Velimir were three
very hungry guys on the glass.''

The Hoosiers (11-3, 1-1), who had won three in a row, suffered
through a miserable night of 3-point shooting and rebounding. They
were 9-for-34 on 3s and -- despite leading the Big Ten in rebounding
coming in -- were beaten on the boards 41-32.

"When you go on the road you've got to fight -- and we didn't
fight,'' Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "This was our first true
road game. From what I saw sitting and standing on the sideline, we
weren't very impressive on offense. We settled for outside
jumpers.''

The Buckeyes improved to 12-3 against ranked teams at Value City
Arena.

At halftime, coach Jim Tressel's 14-0 football team presented
the national championship trophy to Ohio State President Karen
Holbrook. A capacity crowd stood and cheered for several minutes as
quarterback Craig Krenzel, defensive lineman Will Smith and Tressel
each spoke briefly.

The basketball Buckeyes didn't see any of the ceremonies but fed
off the crowd in expanding a 35-25 halftime lead to as many as 18
points.

"It was a great crowd,'' Jenkins said. "They had energy. They
were into it. Just the whole energy from the whole crowd motivated
the team.''

The Hoosiers pulled to 64-53 on Jeff Newton's 3-pointer with
3:14 left. Williams hit two foul shots before Tom Coverdale made
3-pointers on consecutive Indiana trips down the floor to make it
67-59 with 2:46 remaining.

Ohio State came right back with Jenkins scoring on a power move
inside off a fast-break feed from Radinovic, with Radinovic then
making two free throws after an Indiana missed shot.

Jenkins' was the Buckeyes' only field goal over the final 6
minutes.

"He was so physical,'' Davis said of the junior college
transfer. "He'd miss it, go back and get it and shoot it again.''

Jenkins said the game plan worked to perfection.

"The whole thing with the three big guys was to get a lot of
rebounds and to crash the boards,'' he said. "Coach O'Brien had a
good strategy and it worked.''

With the Hoosiers forced to foul, the Buckeyes scored 15 of
their final 17 points at the free throw line. For the game, they
were 27-for-38 to the Hoosiers' 12-for-18.

The Buckeyes were also 6-for-10 on 3-pointers.

"If they were playing a YMCA team they wouldn't have shot 60
percent,'' Davis said. "That just tells you how poor we played.''

Bracey Wright led the Hoosiers with 20 points and Coverdale had
18 points and six assists and Newton added 16 points.

Kyle Hornsby, averaging 9.0 points, missed all nine of his shots
from the field including eight 3-point attempts.

Darby was 5-for-7 on 3s and 9-for-10 from the line even though he
played with a deep thigh bruise sustained in the Buckeyes' 66-55
loss at Michigan State on Thursday night.

"It's big to come out with a win against a Top 25 team, but the
more important thing is to get the win and get to 1-1 in the
conference,'' Darby said. "We needed to even our record.''

Darby became the 41st Buckeye to top 1,000 career points when he
hit a 3-pointer at the 16:47 mark of the first half.

"Brent Darby was just fantastic tonight,'' Davis said. "He's
one of the best players in the Big Ten. He really carried them.''

Starting point guard Brandon Fuss-Cheatham did not play because
of a swollen left knee. The Buckeyes were also without starting
center Terence Dials, out with a stress fracture of the lower back.

Before the game, the 2002 Big Ten tournament championship banner
was unfurled from the rafters.