Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - For the second consecutive game, Ohio State
needed a clutch shot to stay alive in the NCAA Tournament.
Now the Buckeyes are one step away from their second straight trip to the
LaQuinton Ross scored 14 of Ohio State's final 17 points, and his 3-pointer
with 2.1 seconds remaining boosted the Buckeyes to a 73-70 triumph over
Arizona in a West Regional semifinal.
On Sunday it was Aaron Craft playing hero by hitting the winning 3-pointer in
the final second, a 78-75 triumph over Iowa State. Four days later, it was
Ross' turn, as the sophomore came alive in the final eight minutes.
Winners of 11 straight games, the second-seeded Buckeyes (29-7) will play in
the Elite Eight Saturday versus the survivor of the La Salle/Wichita State
matchup. The Buckeyes lost to Kansas in the Final Four last year.
One more victory, and Thad Matta's team will gain a trip to Atlanta.
Deshaun Thomas scored 20, Craft had 13 and Sam Thompson finished with 11 for
the Buckeyes, but the big story was Ross, who finished with 17 points.
Mark Lyons scored 23 and Solomon Hill added 16 for the sixth-seeded Wildcats
(27-8), who had blowout wins over Belmont and Harvard in their first two games
of the tourney, but failed to hold an 11-point first-half lead against the
Lyons drove in for a layup with 1:07 left for a 70-67 margin. The Buckeyes
called timeout with 43 seconds left, and then Craft missed a layup, high off
Lyons raced the other way, received a pass from Nick Johnson and was fouled by
Ross while sinking a layup with 21.8 seconds left. The made free throw tied
the game, and Craft had the ball in his hands, but passed up an opportunity to
win the game to Ross.
Craft dribbled at the top of the arc, and delivered the ball to Ross, who
nailed a deep 3-ball.
Hill's ensuing baseball pass was deflected away by Ohio State's Lenzelle Smith
The Sports Network