After one half in Pittsburgh, the Ohio State Buckeyes lead Gonzaga 39-37. It was a back-and-forth three-point- shooting contest for much of the first half. Mid-way through the half, the Bulldogs went on an 11-2 run to jump out to a seven-point lead, their largest of the first half. OSU trailed for almost the entire half before DeShaun Thomas caught fire to lead them on a 16-7 run over the final six minutes to give the Buckeyes the lead.
The lesser-regarded Sam Dower and Robert Sacre went toe-to-toe with Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Thomas on the inside. It was a sluggish start to the half for the Buckeyes, whose interior rebounding and resistance at the rim were less than adequate. The No. 2 seed Buckeyes were also sloppy, committing seven early turnovers dealing with the Gonzaga zone press. Sullinger picked up two early fouls and was sent to the bench mid-way through the first half. He played only eight minutes with Thad Matta not taking a chance on the big man picking up his third before the teams went to the locker room.
Dower leads all Gonzaga scorers with nine points, providing an unexpected contribution off the bench for coach Mark Few. Elias Harris and Kevin Pangos added seven points each, but Harris picked up his second foul late in the first half, which is something Few will have to monitor.
Thomas, who went off for 31 points in OSU's win over Loyola on Thursday, struggled for much of the first half until hitting a three-pointer after the under-four timeout. The forward who can always catch fire at a moment's notice then went on a personal run and scored 12 straight points for the Buckeyes to pull the game even. Video of his personal run below:
OSU is shooting a red hot 61.5 percent from the floor. Along with Thomas, Craft added 10 points and was able to get consistent penetration to attack the rim with Sullinger on the bench. An animated gif of Craft getting to the rim for an and-one below:
For up-to-the-minute scores on all NCAA Tournament games, please check out SI.com's complete scoreboard.
For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Saturday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.