(Image courtesy ancient-origins.net, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)
Ohio State moved to 2-0 this season with a 107-61 win over Purdue Fort Wayne (PFW). This was Ohio State’s highest scoring game since it hung 111 points on Marshall on November 25th, 2016. (That team went 18-15, so let’s not read too much into this). This game truly was a tale of two halves. The Buckeyes had their hands full in the first half and led by 41-34 st the break. The second half was marked by torrid OSU 3-point shooting (61%) and disruptive defense (PFW shot 30% in the half) to outscore the Mastodons 66-27.
The first half was evenly contested, as the 7 point halftime margin would indicate. At the 12:30 mark, the score was tied at 16-16. A Luther Mohammad layup at 11:56 gave Ohio State the lead that they would never relinquish. The margin stayed at 2 – 9 points for the remainder of the half. The play in the first half gave a slight indication of how things were going to go for PFW. After making 4 of their first 5 long range shots, they finished the half on a 2-11 “run”. Live by the 3, die by the 3; the Mastodons were facing extinction.
The 2nd half was marked by Ohio State’s C.J. Jackson and Duane Washington, Jr. absolutely gutting the Mastodons with long range shooting. In a one minute span (17:46 – 16:40) C.J. made three consecutive 3-point shots to expand a 7 point lead to a 14 point lead. The tone of the game was completely changed by this stretch of play. Duane was 4-6 from long range to help Ohio State keep pushing the Mastodons into the tap pit. Duane’s 3-pointer with 1:49 remaining put the Buckeyes over the century mark on the scoreboard. Jaedon LeDee led all Buckeye scoring in the 2nd half with two field goals (2-2) and 11-12 from the free throw line. In a study in contrast; OSU was 11-18 from 3-point range in the 2nd half. PFW was 0-11.
The Buckeyes were led by C.J. Jackson (25 points), Duane Washington, Jr (20), Jaedon LeDee (16) and Luther Mohammed (12). This was a career high performance for C.J. who also contributed 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Kaleb Wesson contributed 8 points and a team leading 7 rebounds.
The Mastodons were led by John Konchar and Kason Harrell (13 points each) and Matt Holba (10). Konchar also led the Mastodons in rebounding (9) and assists (5).
Ohio State shot 61% from the field (34-56), 54% (15-28) from 3-point range and 85% from the foul line (24-28). Clearly, the Buckeyes wore their Shooting Shoes on Sunday.
Purdue Fort Wayne shot 34% from the field (22-65), 22% from 3-point range (6-27) and 65% (11-17) from the foul line.
What Went Right
To start, I’d say Ohio State’s defense was very active and overall, well positioned. I think they did a nice job with the proverbial “2nd half adjustments” by neutralizing aspects of PWF’s game that were an issue in the first half. Notably, after going 6-16 with 3-point shots in the 1st half, PFW went 0-11 in the 2nd half. The Buckeyes put just enough pressure on PFW to hurry their shots just enough.
Ohio State’s shooting was extraordinary. Their points per possession of 1.40 is extremely high. Their FG% of 61% and 3-point% of 54% stretched the charts in efficiency.
Staying with “shooting”, Ohio State’s freshmen were 13-22 (59%) from the field. The stage does not appear to be too big for these gentlemen. Or, at least the home stage. The Buckeyes have only one more away game (Creighton) until they visit Illinois on December 5th. This home stretch should get the younger Buckeyes comfortable playing on familiar turf.
When you a team shoots over 60% and scores over 100 points, clearly, not a hell of a lot didn’t work. However the lack of offensive rebounding still bothers me – as it has for years. The Buckeyes gathered 6 offensive rebounds (OR) or 27% of their misses, as a rough measure.
Although we are barely into the season, Ohio State ranks 273rd ) in the nation averaging 6 per game, per TeamRankings. Nation leading East Tennessee State University is averaging 18.5 OR per game! Last year both teams averaged 8.6 OR per game.
Still some work to be done. That’s all I have for now.
- Three (Washington, LeDee, Muhammad) of Ohio State’s top four scorers are Freshmen. I’ll take this as a good sign.
- At one point during the game, one of the announcers asked the other “Who does Ohio State run it’s offense through?” I can answer that – C.J. Jackson. He finally got subbed out with six minutes remaining. There were stretches where C.J. was the only Buckeye on the floor older than a sophomore. Make no mistake – this is C.J. Jackson’s team.
- According to teamrankings.com the Buckeyes are now projected to finish the regular season 23-8 and 13-7 in B1G play. They rank Ohio State as the 12th best team in the country and #3 in the B1G. Their chance to make the NCAA’s is 78%. Granted, this is a “way too soon” evaluation, but it is fun to follow.
- Ohio State had a slight edge in “inside play” by out-rebounding PFW 39-30 and outscoring them 34-26 “points in paint”. The big swing came in bench performance. Ohio State’s subs played an aggregate of 75 minutes and scored 53 points on 15-25 shooting. The PFW bench played 65 minutes, but scored only 14 points on 3-15 shooting. OSU’s bench was more aggressive and more efficient.
- The win was nice, but I’m in a much better mood after seeing Andre Wesson return to the game for the second half. In his fall, just before halftime, Andre ran the gamut with floor collision – tailbone, back, head.
- Typically I’d get a bit exercised about a game where Ohio State had only 6 offensive rebounds which amounted to 27% of their missed shots. However, since they did shoot 61% from the field and go over 100 points, it probably wasn’t a big deal against PFW.
The Buckeyes travel to Omaha, NE to face Creighton University. The game is set for Thursday, November 15th with a 7:00 pm ET tip-off. You can watch the game on FS1 or listen to it on 97.1 The Fan. Or both.
The Blue Jays (2-0) are averaging 77 points per game while allowing 68 ppg. They average 34 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 85 and allowing 59 points per game. Ohio State averages 40 rebounds and 12 turnovers per game.
Getting back to offensive rebounding for a minute… In Creighton’s previous game, a 75-69 win over the aforementioned ETSU, ETSU had 19 ORs vs 3 for Creighton. Let’s see what Thursday brings.
Creighton has four players that average double figures scoring per game. They are Ty-Shon Alexander (16.0), Mitch Ballock (11.5), Damien Jefferson (11.0) and Martin Krampelj (10.0). Jefferson leads the team averaging 7 rebounds per game and Ballock with 3 assists per game.