CINCINNATI – The Ohio State University Men’s basketball team opened the 2018-19 season Wednesday the 7th of November against the Bearcats of Cincinnati, spoiling their return to their on-campus arena in a 64-56 in-state victory. Kaleb Wesson scored 15 points, and C.J. Jackson hit a driving bank shot and a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds – which all contributed to a great showing by the Buckeyes.

The Bearcats, now 0-1 had played last season at Northern Kentucky University – losing only once – while their on-campus arena underwent a 20-month, $87 million renovation. They held a pregame celebration – former Bearcat star Kenyon Martin pumped-up the crowd of 12,000 + with a dunk ….

The Buckeyes starting this season with a 1-0 mark were ahead of the Bearcats for all but a handful of opening minutes – stretching a lead by as much as 16 at one point. Jarron Cumberland led the Bearcats with 22 points.

The Buckeyes have not played in Cincinnati for “most” of “any” of our life-times … not since January 3, 1920. The Buckeyes would win that one as well, 35-13. The two schools located 110 miles apart had played only four times in the last 97 years, all in tournaments.

Ohio State went 25-9 in Chris Holtmann’s first season, an unexpected showing that won him Big Ten coach of the year honors, and started the new season with an encouraging victory for an inexperienced team.

Cincinnati is trying to build upon its 31-5 season, which included the American Athletic title. The Bearcats’ season ended with the second-biggest collapse in NCAA Tournament history, blowing a 22-point lead in the final 11 minutes of a 75-73 loss to Nevada in the second round.

The Bearcats were prone to long scoreless streaks last season. They went more than 8 minutes between field goals as Ohio State pulled ahead 14-8. Hearing some scattered boo’s, the Bearcats went into the half after hitting only 4 of 29 from the field with six turnovers, trailing 27-18.

It didn’t get any better for the cold-shooting Bearcats. Andre Wesson’s 3-pointer completed an 11-2 spurt that pushed Ohio State’s lead to 38-22.

The Buckeyes led by 16 points with 5:23 left. Cumberland hit a pair of free throws, a jumper and a 3-pointer that cut it to 60-56 with 59 seconds left. Jackson made a driving bank shot to end the comeback and finished with 13 points.

A BETTER VIEW:

Ohio State: The Buckeyes lost leaders Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate along with top 3-point shooter Kam Williams from last season. They need to develop scoring options beyond Jackson and showed balance in the first game with four players in double figures.

 

Ohio St. Min FG 3pt FT Off Def Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts

F

36 2-2 0-0 6-7 3 5 8 0 1 0 0 0 10

F

28 5-9 1-3 4-6 2 5 7 0 4 1 2 3 15

F

17 2-3 2-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 4 6

G

33 3-10 2-7 5-6 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 13

G

29 4-10 2-3 1-2 0 2 2 1 1 0 1 4 11
27 2-7 0-3 0-1 0 2 2 5 2 1 0 4 4
19 1-3 1-2 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 3 3
11 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 3 2
Totals 20-47 8-20 16-22 8 25 33 7 13 2 5 22 64
Percentages 42.6% 40.0% 72.7%

UP NEXT:  The Mastodons of Purdue Fort Wayne in Columbus on Sunday November 11th (Veteran’s Day) @ 4:00 p.m.  GO  BUCKEYES