The Ohio St. Buckeyes took out the Cincinnati Bearcats on Thursday night, 88-61, to advance to the Elite Eight of the 2012 NCAA Tournament where they will face the Syracuse Orange. The Buckeyes gave up a 12-point halftime lead in the second half, at one point falling behind 49-45 after the Bearcats went on a 19-6 run. The Buckeyes bounced back in full form, however, responding with a 17-1 run over a 6:34 stretch to seize control of the game.
Deshaun Thomas scored 20 points in the first half for OSU, but went quiet in the second half, scoring six points to finish with 26 total. Jared Sullinger picked up the slack, however, leading all players with 11 rebounds in addition to 23 points.
The Buckeyes' defense dominated, recording 13 steals (six by Aaron Craft) on their way to forcing 18 Bearcat turnovers. Cincinnati shot well, going 46.4 percent from the field. Cashmere Wright led the Bearcats on a scorching performance from beyond the arc, going 4-for-6 from long range to help the team shoot 9-for-23 from 3-point range for the game. Wright led Cincinnati with 18 points, but the team ultimately fell well short of pulling out the win.
The Buckeyes and the Orange will tip off Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston, with the winner heading to the Final Four in New Orleans.