The Ohio State Men’s Basketball Squad bounced back nicely following their 27-point loss to Gonzaga on Thanksgiving with a 79-71 victory against Stanford in Portland, Oregon Friday evening in the Phil Knight Invitational.
C.J. Jackson, with a career high 23 points led the Buckeyes to this nice bounce-back from the Gonzaga thrashing. Keita Bates-Diop chipped in with an 18 point, 11 rebound performance.
The Buckeyes (5-1) will play Sunday against Butler, which beat Portland State 71-69 earlier on Friday. Buckeyes first-year coach Chris Holtmann (just a reminder) spent three seasons at the helm of Butler, taking the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 last season, before heading to Columbus.
Daejon Davis had 15 points and Reid Travis had 14 points before both fouled out for Stanford (3-4), which led by as many as 10 points in the first half but trailed by as many as 10 in the second.
Stanford closed within 63-57 with 3:54 on the clock – it would, from there, be a fizzle-out, as the Cardinal team could not get any closer. The Buckeyes just seemed to turn up the heat.
Called the PK80, the tournament celebrates Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday.
Sixteen teams are taking part in the event, including No. 1 ranked Duke and defending NCAA champion North Carolina. The tournament opened Thursday and will continue Sunday after a break on Saturday.
Ohio State and Stanford were in the Motion Bracket, playing Friday in the Moda Center, home of the Trail Blazers. The Victory Bracket played at the adjacent Memorial Coliseum.
Stanford dropped to the losers side of the bracket with a 108-87 loss to No. 7 Florida on Thursday night. The Gators face No. 17 Gonzaga in the late game on Friday night.
The Cardinal led by as much as 31-21 late in the first half, but Ohio State closed the gap with an 11-1 run and the two teams went into halftime tied at 32. Stanford didn’t make a shot from the field for the last 4:11.
Bates-Diop led all scorers with 10 points for the Buckeyes at the break.
Stanford scored just six points in the first six minutes of the second half to trail 48-38. Bates-Diop’s layup gave the Buckeyes their biggest lead of the game to that point.
Stanford had won all three previous meetings with Ohio State. The last meeting – way back on Dec. 21, 1973, in Lexington, Kentucky. In that one Stanford won 68-53.
THE BUCKEYES FOCUSED:
The Buckeyes through “time” has gone 38-38 against teams from the Pac-12 Conference. Regardless of when and how those victories have arisen, it is nice. This current team for the Buckeyes are a scrappy bunch. After such a dousing at the hands of Gonzaga, it is not inconceivable to think that a deflating occurred within the spirit of such a young group. But, and commendably, it did not. I like this team – some kinks certainly need to be ironed out. Occasionally a dousing is needed to deliver the surprises. Stanford isn’t necessarily that big surprise – but it indeed could’ve gone the other way. This was a “good” win.
Ohio State now meets up with Holtmann’s previous rendezvous – Butler on Sunday, while Stanford faces Portland State.