A slap to the face was just what struggling Ohio State needed.
The contact during a scrum last night prompted the ejection of the Miami Hurricanes' scoring leader Jack McClinton (Calvert Hall), and the Buckeyes went on to erase a 14-point second-half deficit and beat the 21st-ranked Hurricanes, 73-68.
"Jack is a big leader for us," teammate Lance Hurdle said. "It's tough losing Jack."
Sophomore Jon Diebler scored a career-high 20 points and Evan Turner had 19 for the Buckeyes (4-0), who won for only the second time in seven games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
"We were fortunate to come back, and it felt great," Turner said. "It will be a better plane ride home."
The Hurricanes (4-2) fell to 0-3 in the ACC/Big Ten series. They led 36-21 late in the first half and 38-24 early in the second but sorely missed McClinton.
The senior guard was ejected for a flagrant foul midway through the first half after he took a swipe with his palm at Anthony Crater, brushing his face. The contact came almost immediately after Crater hit McClinton in the face while guarding him.
Crater fell briefly to his knees in pain but remained in the game. The officials consulted a TV replay, then ejected McClinton.
"Obviously losing Jack hurt," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "In those situations where there's jawing back and forth, there's got to be something both ways. I don't know what happened, but it's always the second guy that gets caught."
Guards Hurdle, James Dews and Brian Asbury went 2-for-17 from three-point range and combined for 10 turnovers while struggling to cope with Ohio State's full-court pressure.
"Our defense was really effective because Hurdle was their only true ballhandler," Turner said. "Nobody else wanted to handle the ball. If McClinton were in the game, it might have been different."
No. 4 Duke 76, No. 9 Purdue 60: : Kyle Singler had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the visiting Blue Devils (8-0) remained unbeaten in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Jon Scheyer scored 20 points and Nolan Smith added 12 for Duke. Robbie Hummel had 15 points and eight rebounds and JaJuan Johnson added 12 for the Boilermakers (5-2).
No. 7 Notre Dame 102, South Dakota 76: : Ryan Ayers was 9-for-14 from three-point range for a career-high 35 points and Kyle McAlarney was 7-for-13 on threes for 27 points for the host Irish (6-1).
Jesse Becker had 24 points for the Coyotes (3-5).
No. 17 Villanova 69, Pennsylvania 47: : Dante Cunningham had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Corey Stokes scored 14 points for the Wildcats (7-0) at the Palestra in Philadelphia.
The Quakers (1-5), once an Ivy League power, lost their third straight game.
No. 18 Memphis 100, Marist 61: : Shawn Taggart had 21 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks and freshman Tyreke Evans added 24 points for the host Tigers (5-1).
David Devezin scored 11 for the Red Foxes (2-4).
No. 23 Florida 73, Florida A&M; 58: : Nick Calathes had 16 points, five rebounds and seven assists and Chandler Parsons added 15 points for the host Gators (6-1) against the Rattlers (1-6).
No. 25 Marquette 81, Central Michigan 67: : Wesley Matthews scored 18 points and the host Golden Eagles (6-1) bounced back from their first loss by stifling the Chippewas (2-4).
No. 5 Texas A&M; 77, Stephen F. Austin 36: : Freshman Adaora Elonu had 17 points, and Tyra White and Tanisha Smith added 13 apiece to lead the visiting Aggies (7-0) over the Ladyjacks (4-3).
No. 7 Tennessee 71, George Washington 59: : Glory Johnson scored 16 points and the visiting Lady Vols (6-1) compensated for a poor-shooting, turnover-filled night by ruling the glass.
The two-time defending NCAA champs outrebounded the Colonials 51-35, won their fifth straight and ended a 17-game home winning streak for the Colonials (4-3).
No. 11 Notre Dame 83, Eastern Michigan 63: : Freshman guard Natalie Novosel scored a career-high 18 points off the bench and Lindsay Schrader added 17 points and 10 rebounds to help the visiting Fighting Irish (6-0) top the Eagles (2-5).
No. 16 Vanderbilt 78, Radford 41: : Jessica Mooney scored 16 points, fellow reserve Chanel Chisolm added 13 and the host Commodores (7-1) cruised over the Highlanders (0-6).
No. 23 Xavier 67, Kentucky 44: : Jerri Taylor scored a season-high 18 points, giving Kevin McGuff (136-61) the career victory record for a Musketeers women's coach. Xavier (6-2) has won six of its seven games against the visiting Wildcats (4-2).