COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Brent Darby helped provide the bounce-back effort Ohio State needed.
Darby scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half to lead the Buckeyes to their first Big Ten Conference victory, an 81-69 triumph over No. 15 Indiana.
Ohio State (8-5, 1-1 Big Ten) suffered a 66-55 loss at Michigan State on Thursday in their Big Ten opener. Playing 48 hours later against another nationally ranked rival, Darby made five 3-pointers to lead the Buckeyes.
"This was a big win for us and the crowd really came out and supported us," Darby said. "I was really feeling it today. My teammates got me some open looks. I didn't have to dribble too much to create shots because we were working the ball down low."
"I just sensed we were down with the last two losses, losing at home in overtime, we were banged up, sore, and had our heads down," Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said. "We responded and played great."
The Buckeyes used an 11-2 run to take the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Sean Connolly midway through the first half. A layup and 3-pointer by Darby made it 32-20 with 3:35 to go.
Ohio State opened the second half on a 13-5 tear and took its largest lead at 48-30 on a three-point play by Zach Williams.
"We did a good job staying out of foul trouble tonight," Williams said. "We took advantage of the mismatches on us and were able to put points on the board."
Indiana (11-3, 1-1) pulled within 67-59 on a 3-pointer by Tom Coverdale with 2:44 remaining. But the Buckeyes' Shun Jenkins beat everyone down the court for a layup 11 seconds later and the Hoosiers never recovered.
Freshman Bracey Wright led Indiana with 20 points. The Hoosiers made 9-of-34 attempts from beyond the arc. Wright and Coverdale combined to make 7-of-20 and Kyle Hornsby missed all eight.
"They like to shoot a lot of 3-pointers and we did a good job on getting out on their shooters," Williams said.
Darby went over the 20-point plateau for the fifth time this season. The senior guard also reached the 1,000-point plateau with a 3-pointer just over three minutes into the game.
"The 18 points by Darby in the first half really put us in a bad situation," Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "It was the combination of Darby, their tough play inside and their rebounding advantage that put us in a disadvantage."
The Buckeyes held a 41-32 edge on the glass as Williams, Jenkins and Darby all grabbed seven rebounds. Wright grabbed eight rebounds, but Indiana's frontcourt stalwarts Jeff Newton and George Leach combined for just 11 points.
Jenkins scored a career-high 22 points, making 9-of-15 shots. Jenkins had nine points and seven rebounds in the loss to Michigan State and earned a second straight start.
"You never have to question his heart or determination," O'Brien said. "He is going to go down swinging and never give up. He is just a marvelous kid and we are getting what we want out of him."
"We knew that Jenkins had been playing a lot of minutes since he came back from injury," Davis said. "He got rebound after rebound underneath. He just played with a lot of power and force that we could not handle. He just overpowered our guys with his physical play."
Connolly missed Thursday's game with a sprained left ankle and had not practiced most of the week. He returned to play the entire game and contributed five points.
Coverdale scored 18 points and Newton had 16 before fouling out for Indiana. The Hoosiers shot just 38 percent (24-of-63) and Davis fell to 7-10 in Big Ten road games. Ohio State shot 71 percent (27-of-38) at the line and had just six turnovers. The Buckeyes improved to 8-1 at home.