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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Jay Leno zings Cavs

By Marla Published: February 4, 2011

The moribund Cavaliers have hit Jay Leno.

Part of Leno's monologue Thursday night on NBC's ''The Tonight Show With Jay Leno'' included bits about Cleveland's struggling NBA team.

"The Cavaliers lost again last night, 22nd consecutive loss,'' Leno said. "That's just one short of the NBA record. And here's the worst part, it was a father and son game.

"Anybody see the Cavaliers-Pacer game?'' Leno said, but no one applauded to say yes. "They had a big promotion, this was great. The first five Cavalier fans who arrived at the stadium got to start.''

Also lampooned by Leno during his opening were actors Charlie Sheen (in rehab), Lindsay Lohan (for her alleged theft of a necklace) and David Haselhoff (whom Leno joked tried to use tequila to melt the ice at his home.)

Thoughts on Ohio State-Michigan:

After watching OSU's 62-53 victory, the most striking thing to me is the Buckeyes' will to win in the second half. At halftime, they had more turnovers than field goals. Their 23 first-half points was their fewest of the season (second lowest was 27 against Northwestern). Yet they pulled out their 10th conference triumph.

“I thought our guys did a very good job of maintaining composure when things didn’t go the way we wanted them to go,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.

As for the improved second half, Matta said, "They like to win; they are very intuitive in preparation. They are dialed-in and I think they enjoy each other’s company. They have respect for each other and don’t want to let each other down.”

“In the second half, we just took our intensity to another level,'' freshman Jared Sullinger said. "We know that it’s Michigan and they were going to give their toughest game.''

The Buckeyes' 10 Big Ten victories have come by an average of 9.3 points per game, seven by an average of 4.3 points per game. The only blowouts were against Indiana (18), Iowa (22) and Purdue (23). The Buckeyes are getting tested nearly every game and still prevailing.

Sullinger continues to amaze. Despite frequent double-teams, he muscled his way to 19 points and pulled in 15 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. The only downside against the Wolverines was his 5 of 11 shooting from the free throw line.

“With free throws, when they go in and out, I get frustrated,'' Sullinger said afterward.

But the Buckeyes wouldn't have pulled this one out without William Buford, who contributed 13 points and three key 3-pointers. David Lighty struggled with foul trouble and Jon Diebler still seems to be having mysterious lapses despite getting into the 3-point flow early.

They also took advantage of a 23-11 disparity in fouls. Playing at home, OSU went 15 of 25 from the free throw line to Michigan's 1 of 4. 

"When you’re guarding the length and quickness they have, and Jared Sullinger, it’s hard to guard without fouling,'' Michigan coach John Beilein said. "You’re looking at the number one team in the country. Jared Sullinger is a freshman but an unusual freshman. It’s incredible. He’s hard to guard and you can get to foul trouble. We traditionally do not get to the foul line lots as a team, but we get there more than four times.”
Beilein lauded the play of freshman guard Tim Hardaway Jr.

"For him to score 15 points with David Lighty on him he had a good day,”  Beilein said.



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