Jack­son de­liv­ers against In­di­ana

The Columbus Dispatch - - Sports - By Adam Jardy The Colum­bus Dis­patch [email protected]­patch.com @Adam­jardy

BLOOM­ING­TON, Ind. — As­sem­bly Hall has not his­tor­i­cally been kind to Ohio State. C.J. Jack­son is find­ing ways to change that.

In the reg­u­larsea­son fi­nale last year, Jack­son hit a deep, game-win­ning three-pointer with 1.7 sec­onds left as the Buck­eyes spoiled se­nior night for the Hoosiers with an 80-78 win in dou­ble over­time.

On Sun­day, in a bat­tle be­tween two teams des­per­ately try­ing to stay on the right side of the NCAA Tour­na­ment bub­ble, he ba­si­cally did it again. Hav­ing led for the en­tire game, Ohio State fell be­hind with 1:46 to play when In­di­ana’s Devonte Green drilled a deep three-pointer over Keyshawn Woods for a 52-49 lead.

It wouldn’t last. From al­most the same spot on the court from a year ago, and with the shot clock near­ing zero, Jack­son half­shot, half-heaved a three-pointer that swished through the net to tie it. On the Buck­eyes’ next pos­ses­sion, it was his feed to An­dre Wes­son out of a time­out that re­sulted in the win­ning dunk.

Stand­ing against a crim­son-and-cream­col­ored hall­way out­side the vis­i­tors’ locker room af­ter­ward, Jack­son couldn’t ex­plain his per­sonal suc­cess against the Hoosiers.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “Just an un­be­liev­able en­vi­ron­ment. You dream of play­ing in places like this. My coaches be­lieve in me and my team­mates be­lieve in me so I want to give my team what they need. It just hap­pened to go the right way the last cou­ple of times here.”

On the as­sist to Wes­son, coach Chris Holt­mann graded Ohio State’s of­fen­sive ex­e­cu­tion as a “10 out of 10.” On Jack­son’s shot … not so much.

“Now, that was not drawn up,” he said. “It was busted. We didn’t have much go­ing that pos­ses­sion, and he’s got an in­cred­i­ble knack for that. I was relieved, be­cause I thought the game was po­ten­tially a tip­ping point there.”

Thanks to Jack­son’s clutch plays, the Buck­eyes have now won con­sec­u­tive games at As­sem­bly Hall for only the third time in the build­ing’s 48-year his­tory. In those games, Jack­son is 9 for 23 (39.1 per­cent) from the field, 5 for 10 (50.0 per­cent) from three and has six as­sists and four turnovers while av­er­ag­ing 11.5 points per game.

He’s also 2 for 2 with the game on the line.

“C.J., how many times has he done that in his ca­reer?” Holt­mann said. “He re­ally has shown the abil­ity to make those shots and those plays.”


C.J. Jack­son cel­e­brates af­ter Ohio State de­feated In­di­ana in Bloom­ing­ton, Ind., on Sun­day. It was the se­cond time in a year that Jack­son made key plays in the fi­nal min­utes to beat the Hoosiers in As­sem­bly Hall.

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