(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)

The Buckeyes (15-4, 6-0) clamped down on host Rutgers (11-8, 1-5) by the score of 68-46 Sunday evening. This was Ohio State’s 5th consecutive win and tenth of their last eleven games, spanning a month and a half.

The Spartans jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first 3 ½ minutes, but the Buckeyes battled back and the margin for either team hovered in the 2-4 point range for the next 15 minutes. With the score tied at 29-all at the 1:14 mark, all hell broke loose. The Buckeyes reeled off: dunk (KBD), layup (Jae’Sean), 3-pt’r (Kam), 2 FTs (KBD, again) and a Dakich 3-pt prayer at the buzzer to open a 41-29 lead.

Ohio State picked it up to start the second half with a Kam Williams back-door dunk 11 seconds into the stanza. The Buckeyes would make their first seven (7)  FG attempts in the 2nd half  to suffocate MSU.

When OSU finally missed a shot (a layup of all things) six minutes in the half, OSU had a 61-40 lead. Ohio State scored its last point via a free throw by Jae’Sean Tate with :53 remaining and MSU’s Gavin Schilling slammed a dunk with :37 to close out the scoring at 80-64 for the Good Guys.

The Buckeyes were led, again, by Kieta Bates-Diop (20 points), Kam Williams (11) and Kaleb Wesson (10).  C.J. Jackson scored “only” 9 points, but led Ohio State with 6 assists.  Jae’Sean Tate played only 15 minutes (fouled out) and recorded 6 points, 5 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

The Spartans were was led by Miles Bridges (17 points), Joshua Langford (17), Cassius Winston (12) and Jarren Jackson, Jr (11). Nick Ward led the Spartans with a game high 10 rebounds.

Ohio State shot 47% from the field (27-58), 33% (7-21) from 3-point range and a 70% from the foul line (7-10).

Rutgers shot 29% from the field (17-59), 33% from 3-point range (6-18) and 55% (6-11) from the foul line.

Rutgers entered the game shooting a field goal percentage of 39.7%. So, they weren’t that proficient to begin with, but OSU’s defense, particularly interior defense, just made matters worse for the Scarlet Knights.

What Went Right

The defensive effort, and results, were very good. Rutgers is not that good of a shooting team, and OSU’s defense made them worse. they looked very active and had good rotation. Other than a brief 2nd half lapse, they had another “good effort” game.

Ohio State overcame a pretty slow start.At the 6:20 mark in the first half, they led 15-11 and were 6-20 from the field. In the final 6:20 of the half and the first three minutes of the 2nd half, Ohio State went on a 23-4 run to pretty much put the game away.

By any measure, Ohio State’s inside game was working very well. They outscored Rutgers 32-14 “in the paint” and, due to better offensive rebounding, 17-5 in “2nd chance points”. A significant factor to this “points in the paint” disparity was Kieta Bates-Diop – he had 5 blocks.

What Didn’t

When you handle an opponent on the road by 22 points, there wasn’t much that went wrong. However, I did notice a couple of things that didn’t look too good.

Turnovers were a bit of a mess against Rutgers. The team committed 11 turnovers, to Rutgers 6 turnovers. The scarlet Knights outscored the Buckeyes 17-7 in points off turnovers. Ball security and transition defense were pretty ‘meh’.

After the Buckeyes achieved their 30 point lead with 13:47 remaining in the game, they seemed to get a bit complacent and sloppy. In less than 2 minutes, Rutgers had trimmed OSU’s lead to 22 points. At which point, Coach Holtmann has seen enough of this shit and put his starters back on the floor. I can understand getting a little indifferent with that big of a lead, but the on-court players (Jallow, Potter, Andre W) are getting limited minutes, and to play poorly when you are on the floor doesn’t make a case for getting more minutes.

That’s enough for now.

Other…

  • This was Ohio State’s 2nd consecutive win by a 22 point margin.
  • The Buckeyes are currently ranked #22 in the nation. According to teamrankings.com, the Buckeyes are now projected to finish the regular season 23-8 and 14-4 in B1G play. They rank Ohio State as the 24th best team and give them a 95% chance to make the NCAA’s.
  • Aside from the usual suspects, I thought that Kyle Young had a productive appearance. He played only 4 minutes, but in that time scored 4 points (2-2) and had 3 rebounds. That’s making the most of not much playing time.

Up Next

The Buckeyes travel to Rosemont, IL (temporary home of the wildcats) to play Northwestern () Wednesday evening. The tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 pm ET, so make sure you get a nap and are well rested.  The game can be seen on BTN and/or you can listen to it on 97.1.

Northwestern (11-8, 2-4) has had a rocky 2018, going 1-3 since January 1st. They are averaging 73 points per game while allowing 67 ppg.  They average 34 rebounds and 12 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 79 and allowing 67. Ohio State averages 37 rebounds and 13 turnovers per game.

The Wildcats have four players that average double figures scoring per game. They are Scottie Lindsey (14.0), Bryant McIntosh (13.1), Vic Law (12.2) and Derek Pardon (11.8). Pardon leads Northwestern in rebounding with 7.1 per game.

Ohio State has four players averaging double figures; Kieta Bates-Diop (20.3), C.J. Jackson (13.3), Jae’Sean Tate (12.5),  and Kaleb Wesson (11.2). KBD also leads the Buckeyes in rebounds with 8.8 per game.