(Image courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, game information courtesy sports.yahoo.com, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, ESPN.com, stats courtesy of teamrankings.com)
The #6 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0, 1-0)opened Big Ten play with a rather convincing 106-74 home win over the Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2, 0-1). Kaleb Wesson went off for 28 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists. The Brothers Wesson had quite the evening. Andre Wesson contributed 15 points, 5 rebounds an an assist. For you keeping score at home, that’s a combined 43 points, 15 rebounds and 3 assists.
Kaleb got Ohio State got off to a quick 3-0 lead, PSU tied it 20 seconds later on a FG by Myles Dread (is that a great name, or what?). Ohio State took a 5-3 lead on (another) basket by Kaleb Wesson, and the Buckeyes would hold the lead for the remainder of the game. In the first three and half minutes of the game, Kaleb had 7 points, a rebound and a blocked shot. Midway through the half, Ohio State was holding a 16-9 lead and this was turning into the somewhat tightly played game I’d anticipated. Play didn’t change much for the remainder of the half.At the 15 minute mark, Ohio State’s lead was 11, 32-21. At intermission, the Buckeyes were still up by 11, 46-35. The teams were toying with a low double-digit margin; Penn State couldn’t make sustained inroads and Ohio State couldn’t pull away.
Things stayed this way for about six minutes into the second half. Ohio State was up 59-50 when PSU’s Lamar Stevens got his 3rd foul. Thirty seconds later, Stevens was called for his 4th foul and in demonstrative disagreement was whistled for a technical foul which ended Lamar’s afternoon with 13:26 remaining in the game. Did Lamar’s disqualification make a difference? In a low double-digit margin game, maybe. In a 32 point blow out, nope.
What did make a difference was Ohio State’s second half three-point shooting. The Buckeyes were 12-18 (67%) in second half 3-point shooting. The long range shooting accounted for 36 of OSU’s 60 second half points. The second half scoring (60 points) was more than 29 teams average per game. With a little over a minute remaining in the game, Ohio State held a 37 point margin, 106-69. Penn State closed the scoring with 5 consecutive points to end this at 106-74.
The Buckeyes had four players in double figures, paced by Kaleb Wesson’s 28 points. Andre Wesson had 15, while Luther Mohammad and Duane Washington, Jr had 14 each. Ten of the eleven players scored for Ohio State. Kaleb grabbed a game high 10 rebounds and CJ Walker had a game high 7 assists.
The Nittany Lions had three players in double figures, led by Isiah Brockington’s 19 points. In an abbreviated appearance, Lamar Stevens had 11 points and Seth Lundy had 10. Stevens, Mike Watkins and John Harrar had 3 rebounds each and Jamari Wheeler had 2 assists.
Ohio State shot 57% from the field (31-54), 54% (14-26) from 3-point range and 81% (30-37) from the foul line.
Penn State shot 42% (25-59) from the field, 34% (10-29) from 3-point range and 70% (14-20) from the foul line.
What Went Right
Damned near everything. The offense was efficient and balanced. Fifteen of OSU’s 31 field goals were assisted. Ohio State had four players in double figures but everyone who played, but for one player, Alonzo Gaffney, scored. Alonzo had no FG nor FT shots in his playing time, so that’s understandable. Scroll through the box score, below, you see how it happened. The six players who scored in single digits accounted for 36 points, 6 points apiece.
Bench play was again solid. This number is skewed quite a bit due to Andre Wesson’s performance, but still… In 71 minutes of game time, the non-starters accounted for 32 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Bench play was sparse against Penn State since the Buckeyes didn’t really put this game away until the last 5-6 minutes or so.
Team defense continues to be stellar. Despite giving up 74 points to PSU, Ohio State is now #3 in the country in scoring defense, allowing 54.7 PPG. Last season, they allowed 66.2 PPG. Granted, the schedule gets tougher, for them, but it gets tougher for everyone.
They won, again. That always counts for something.
Defensive rebounding needed a bit of work – Ohio State gave up 11 ORs to Penn State. Eight of them were in the second half, so I guess it didn’t make too much of a difference in the outcome.
Penn State box score:
Ohio State box score:
- CJ Walker had as many assists, seven, as the Penn State team.
- Ohio State was a bit more efficient in points-off-turnovers. They scored 15 points off 10 PSU turnovers. They limited Penn State to 10 points off 9 OSU turnovers.
- Ohio State’s offensive rebounding looked really good against Penn State with a rebounding rate of 39%. For the season, it’s 33.5%. Last year, it was 26%. The national average is 26.2%, so the Buckeyes are well above average.
- We have a limited non-con schedule data set, but through this point in the season according to teamrankings.com, Ohio State leads the nation in average scoring margin at 26.2 ppg. They finished last season with a margin of 2.9 ppg, so clearly this is not last year’s team.
The Buckeyes travel way up north to The Barn to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers on December 15th. Tip-off is set for 6:30 pm ET. You can watch the game on BTN or listen to it on TuneIn. Or both.