(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)
Ohio State moved to 4-0 this season with an 89-61 win over the South Carolina State Bulldogs (1-3). The win moved Ohio State into the AP Top 25 for the first time this season, placing them at #23, one place behind the University of Buffalo Bulls. The Buckeyes took care of business in the first half by taking a 43-21 lead, thanks to the Bulldogs going 1-9 from 3-point range and only 7-20 from inside the arc. Clearly, holding your opponent to < 28% shooting is a good thing. In the second half, Ohio State still went full throttle by scoring 46 points, but the Bulldogs found their shooting touch to score 40 to make the game somewhat more interesting.
The Buckeyes had five players in double figures. They were led by Kaleb Wesson (18 points), Duane Washington, Jr. (14), Luther Mohammed (12), Jaedon Lee (12) and Andre Wesson (11). Musa Jallow pulled in a team high 7 rebounds and Mohammed had 4 assists.
The Bulldogs were led by Damani Applewhite (15) and Armani Hill (11). Applewhite and Hill also pulled in 6 rebounds each. Rayshawn Neal and Allen Hatchett each had 3 assists.
Ohio State shot 55% from the field (28-51), 37% (7-19) from 3-point range and 74% from the foul line (26-35).
South Carolina State shot 37% from the field (22-62), 16% from 3-point range (3-19) and 86% (12-14) from the foul line.
What Went Right
Ohio State turned in another very solid defensive performance.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.
Kaleb Wesson couldn’t have had much better a game than he did on Sunday. . In fourteen minutes of floor time in the first half, KW scored 17 points on 4-6 shooting (3-4 from 3-point range) and 6-8 from the free throw line.
Staying with “shooting”, Ohio State’s freshmen were 15-25 (60%) from the field. They continue to play with an upperclassman’s confidence. And good upperclassmen, at that.
Ohio State shot 55%, scored 89 points and won by 28, so not a hell of a lot to complain about. However, complain I will. Ohio State did manage to miss 23 field goals and had only 9 offensive rebounds. Some more work needs to be done.
Ball handling wasn’t a strong point, either. Fifteen turnovers led to 19 Bulldog points. That’s about a third of their points.
Still some work to be done. That’s why we have pre-conference games.
- Again, three (Washington, LeDee, Muhammad) of Ohio State’s top four scorers are Freshmen. There is a growing comfort level with the young players, Holtmann and the offense.
- This was a good outing for Andre Wesson; he hit his (young) season high in rebounds 6) and points (11).
- Ohio State’s defensive performance is off to a good start this season. They are holding opponents to 59.5 points per game and 35% shooting. This may win a couple games for the Buckeyes on the nights where they are not shooting 55-60%.
- According to teamrankings.com the Buckeyes are projected to finish the regular season 23-8 and 13-7 in B1G play. They rank Ohio State as the 13th best team in the country and #5 in the B1G. Their chance to make the NCAA’s is 80%. Granted, this is a “way too soon”, but it is fun to follow.
The Buckeyes host the Samford Bulldogs (Bulldogs as mascots seem to be a “thing”) Tuesday evening. The game is set to tip-off at 7:00 pm ET. You can watch the game on BTN+, if you subscribe, or listen to it on 97.1 The Fan. Or both.
These Bulldogs (5-0) are averaging 79 points per game while allowing 65 ppg. They average 38 rebounds and 14 turnovers per game. For comparison, the Buckeyes are scoring 82 and allowing 59 points per game. Ohio State averages 36.5 rebounds and 13 turnovers per game.
Samford has four players that average double figures scoring per game. They are Rueben Guerrero (17.0), Josh Sharkey (14.2), Brandon Austin (12.6) and Myron Gordon (11.4). Guerrero leads the team averaging 8.8 rebounds per game and Sharkey with 8 assists per game.