(Photo courtesy DailyMail.com. Game information courtesy Ohio State Athletics web site and ESPN.com) 

The chase, above, did not end well for the penguin; neither did Youngstown State’s Tuesday game against Ohio State. The Buckeyes (9-3) scored early and scored often in overwhelming the Youngstown State Penguins (6-7),  77-40.

If you caught JC’s game preview, you’ll notice he did pick the winning team (Oho State), but was off quite a bit in his score. In JC’s defense, it would have been difficult to predict that a team (YSU) that averaged 80’ish points per game would be held to half of that total.

Back to the game…

Overview

The Buckeyes were led by Jae’Sean Tate (15 points, 7 rebounds), Kieta Bates-Diop (15-3) and Kam Williams (15, 2, 5 asst). Trevor Thompson (T²) performed another double-double by scoring 11 point and grabbing 15 rebounds. Well done, Trevor, well done.  Micah Potter had an abbreviated appearance; he injured his ankle by landing on the referee’s foot on the opening tip-off. That’s really a shame, because the way this game unfolded, Micah would have had a lot of playing time.

The Penguins had one player in double figures; Matt Donlan, with 10 points. In an otherwise dismal team performance, Donlan was a player. In addition to his 10 points, Matt led the team with 6 rebounds, had 3 assists and had 1 of YSU’s 3 blocks. Donlan can play for me anytime.

This was sort of a tale of two half’s. Ohio State was absolutely dominating in the first half, rolling to a 42-14 lead. They were a bit lackadaisical in the second half; due to starting it with  28 point lead and a lot of bench players getting playing time. The Buckeyes did manage to outscore the Penguins 35-26 in the 2nd half. For YSU, the 1st half was a disaster; the 2nd half was merely a debacle.

First Half

Ohio State absolutely took it took Youngstown in the first 5 minutes, holding a 12-3 lead at that point. The Buckeyes were 4-11 from the field at that point, but the Penguins were only 1-5 and 3 turnovers at that point.

At the 15 minute mark, OSU was up 33-12. It was pretty clear how this game would end.

In the final five minutes, the Buckeyes outscored the Penguins 9-2, to take a 42-14 lead into the half. The game was over at this point. If you stuck around at this point it’s because you enjoyed watching train wrecks and car crashes.

Ohio State shot 48% (16-33) from the field compared to Youngstown’s 15% (4-27). One encouraging note is that OSU was tenacious in getting the ball inside for better shots and they were aggressive in going after offensive rebounds. The Buckeyes missed 17 shots, but gained 9 offensive rebounds. This 50%’ish rate is on a par with Bob Huggins’ West Virginia team, who leads the nation in that category.

Second Half

This was pretty much a walk through effort by the Buckeyes. Much to Thad’s credit, he scheduled a lot of bench time on the floor for players who probably wouldn’t see this much game time. C.J. Bell, Andre Wesson and David Bell saw significant playing time.

There was a bit of helter-skelter play as Thad gave his bench players more playing time. This resulted in some “wasn’t looking for the pass” turnovers (Dave Bell) and some “I actually get to shoot” missed shots (Bell, Joey Lane). I think this was due more to the excitement of getting game time. That’s fine with me; the kids deserved a chance to play and Thad may need some of their minutes before the season is over.

Wrap Up

The Buckeyes put in a solid effort this game, particularly on defense. They were abetted by the fact that the Penguins couldn’t hit the broadside of  barn, shooting 21% from the field for the game. Youngstown did get plenty of open shots, they just couldn’t make anything. An example of this is their 3-point shooting, where they were 2-21 (9%) for the game.

In their “focused” first half, Ohio State grabbed 9 offensive rebounds of 17 missed field goals, as mentioned above, a very good performance. In the 2nd half, with a bit less intensity and a more mix-n-match lineup, they collected 3 offensive rebounds of their 14 missed shots (20% or so). So, although the overall numbers were ‘OK’ (12 O/R’s, 29 missed field goals, 41%), they were really good in the 1st half.

I do want to mention that, although he made a couple of mistakes, I was pleased with David Bell’s effort. Micah Potter’s opening whistle injury probably forced Thad’s rotation plan a bit, but the young man did OK. Another young player who provided a bit of spark was sophomore guard C.J. Jackson. In his 19 minutes, he provided 8 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and a generally higher level of energy and excitement on the floor. I think that Thad’s guard rotation looks set for the season.

Next Up

The Buckeyes will host UNC-Asheville on Thursday, December 22nd for a 9:00 pm tip-off. You can watch the game on ESPN2 or listen to it on  97.1. Or both.

It will be the last game until New Year’s Day, when Ohio State begins the Big Ten season when they travel to Champaign, IL to take on the Illini. Whatever Thad needs to figure out, he has this week to do it.