Buckeyes Return To Non-Conference Schedule With Another Win
The Ohio State Basketball Buckeyes played a couple of bigs down but it didn’t matter as Ohio State rolled past William and Mary 97-62. Playing without Micah Potter and Kyle Young. The depth of Ohio State was challenged and despite looking a little sleepy early on the defensive end, they woke up and ran past the Tribe, locking down their defense and getting whatever they wanted in the paint against a combination man and zone defense employed by William and Mary. With both bigs out, the lone post player was Kaleb Wesson so Keita Bates-Diop was forced to play both the 4 and 5 and although he struggled at times defensively, broke out with a career high 27 points, hitting 11 of his 16 attempts, with many of them coming from the middle of the zone.
The Buckeyes knew they’d have to stretch the floor defensively due to the Tribe’s propensity to shoot the 3 ball and early they were exposed with dribble drive penetration. Once they shored that up, they blew the game open late in the first half. After trading buckets early and trailing by a point with just over 12 minutes left in the first half, the Buckeyes went on a 27-4 run that sealed the win, going into the locker room with a 16 point lead. For the game, they held the Tribe to just 5 of 16 from long range, well below their season average of 47%. The second half was more of the same as the Bucks hit 10 of their first 11 shot attempts and built the lead to 40 before finishing with the 35-point win. Bates-Diop led all scorers with 27 while Kaleb Wesson, who was very effective early, finished with 17 and C.J. Jackson, who was re-inserted into the starting lineup finished with 16 and Kam Williams added 13 for the Buckeyes who moved to 8-3 on the season.
Now the Buckeyes take a bit of a break to complete final exams, but riding a bit of a high, winning 3 in a row, including the 2 conference wins. This was a game that was challenging on paper due to the Tribe’s ability to shoot the basketball but to their credit, after the sluggish start, they rose to the challenge and will feel pretty confident about themselves going into the week off. They have demonstrated an ability to hit from deep, while the offense certainly flows best coming from the interior with Wesson and the length of Bates-Diop and strength of Jae’Sean Tate. They have a couple of tune-ups prior to the showdown in New Orleans with the defending national champion North Carolina Tarheels.
Next up is a home tilt with the Appalachian State Mountaineers next Saturday evening. Tip time for that game is 6pm.
– Jason Harris