(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com)

The Buckeyes (11-4) continued their run with a harder than it needed to be 72-59 win over Miami (OH) (7-6) Sunday afternoon at VCA. This was Ohio State’s last non-con game before resuming conference play against Iowa on Thursday. The Buckeyes were 6-1 (2-0 B1G) in December games. Now, Ohio State goes full throttle in conference games for the next two months.

The Buckeyes and Redhawks were tied at 4-4 at the 16:12 mark in the first half and Ohio State struggled to pull away from Miami until late in the game.

Ohio State had a slim 35-28 lead at the half and could not shake the Redhawks. With 6:03 to play in the game, the Buckeyes were nursing a 3 point lead, 57-54. Over the next 3:20 the Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run to move the score to 67-54. A three-point play by Miami’s Darrian Ringo at the :34 mark provided the final score in the 72-59 Buckeye win.

The Buckeyes were led by Kieta Bates-Diop (19 points, 9 rebounds), C.J. Jackson (16, 5, 6 assists),  Kam Williams (15, 2) and Jae’Sean Tate (11,5).

The Redhawks were was led by Darrian Ringo (16 points, 5 rebounds), Bam Bowman (15, 5) and Nike Sibande (14, 6). Dalonte Brown led Miami in rebounding with 7 rebounds.

Ohio State shot 42% from the field (23-55), 40% (18-20) from 3-point range and 78% from the foul line (18-23).

Miami shot 37% from the field (22-60), 27% from 3-point range (9-33) and 85% (6-7) from the foul line.

What Went Right

Although the Buckeyes were pretty flat throughout the game, they did saddle up for one last scoring run late in the game to salt away a too-close game. They were persistent enough to fend off several Redhawk runs throughout the game.

Ohio State ramped up the defensive pressure in the 2nd half by holding Miami to 35% shooting from the field and 25% from 3-point range.

Their ball handling was still at a pretty decent level. The 11 turnovers were okay and offset by 10 assists, 6 by CJ Jackson.

 

What Didn’t

The basketball team must have been exhausted from celebrating the football team’s Cotton Bowl victory. They started out sluggish and didn’t improve their energy level that much throughout the game. This was reflected in their level of play.

The 72 points isn’t too far below their average, but their shooting was not up to standard. In fact, in the first half, it was terrible – 38% terrible.

The Buckeyes were out-rebounded by Miami 38-36. Of OSU’s 9 offensive rebounds, Kaleb Wesson grabbed 4.

In the first half, Ohio State had only two offensive rebounds.  They’d missed 16 field goals, so there were plenty if opportunities to get the offensive rebounds – they just weren’t all that interested.

Ohio State was outscored 24-22 in the points-in-the-paint category. Between the rebounding and the points-in-the-paint deficit, the Buckeyes need to be a lot more aggressive with their inside game during B1G season.

That’s enough for now.

Other…

  • In 24 minutes, Kaleb Wesson couldn’t buy a basket (1-7), but was 5-5 from the free throw line and grabbed 7 rebounds (4 offensive).
  • Ohio State blocked 5 shots, all in the 2nd half. This was a nice example of effort that had been lacking in most areas (rebounding, inside play) of their game.
  • Kam Williams had a very efficient game. He was 5-8 from the field, 3-3 from 3-pt range, 2-2 from the free throw line, 2 rebounds and no turnovers.
  • The Buckeye bench was not much of a factor in the game. In 47 minutes, they scored 4 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and committed 3 turnovers.

Up Next

The Buckeyes open Big Ten play, part the 2nd. on Thursday with a trip to Iowa City to play the Hawkeyes. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET. It can be seen on ESPNU and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.

Iowa (9-6)* is on a five game winning streak. They are averaging 82 points per game while allowing 73 ppg.  They average 41 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 79 and allowing 68. Ohio State averages 37 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game.

The Hawkeyes have four players that average double figures scoring per game. They are Tyler Cook (13.9), Isiah Moss (12.0), Jordan Bohannon (11.6) and Luka Garza (10.4). Garza also leads the Hawkeyes in rebounding at 6.6 per game. Ohio State has four players averaging double figures; Kieta Bates-Diop (18.7), C.J. Jackson (13.6), Jae’Sean Tate (12.5),  and Kaleb Wesson (11.9). KBD also leads the Buckeyes in rebounds with 8.7 per game.

‘*Iowa has a game against Michigan on Tuesday, January 2nd.