Buckeyes Blow Out Cedarville
In their first public appearance of the 2019-20 basketball campaign, season 3 of the Chris Holtmann era got off to a resounding start, forcing 21 turnovers and downing Division 2 Cedarville 95-52 in the Schott. It took a little while to get things going, trailing the Yellow Jackets for a brief moment midway through the first half, but when they turned it on, Cedarville had no answer as the Buckeyes used a late first half run along with a pair of big second half runs to cruise in their lone public exhibition game of the season. Kaleb Wesson led all scorers with 23 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes and D.J. Carton, making his public debut, added 15. C.J. Walker and Kyle Young added 10 each as all eligible scholarship players scored in the victory.
The Buckeyes, moving the basketball well offensively early, jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead thanks to three Yellow Jacket turnovers forcing Cedarville to call a quick timeout just 2 minutes into the game. The Buckeye lead ballooned to 10-3 before a pair of Cedarville triples off the fingertips of Quinton Green cut the advantage to just 2 heading into the first media timeout of the game. 5 straight points from Kaleb Wesson, including a three from the right wing, gave the Buckeyes a 4 point lead but the Yellow Jackets came to play, keeping it within striking distance, trailing by just two at the 11 minute mark of the first half. Hot shooting from deep, hitting 5 of their first 8 attempts, kept the Jackets in the game and briefly gave them the lead at the 8:17 mark, but led by D.J. Carton’s 4 points, 2 assists and a steal, the Buckeyes led by a point at the under 8 media timeout. That would be as close as the game would be as Ohio State exploded for a 17-2 run, keyed by a pair of Kaleb Wesson 3’s to lead 41-25 before Cedarville finally broke a 5 minute scoring drought to cut the lead to 41-27 at half. Kaleb Wesson’s 13 paced the Buckeyes, while Kyle Young added 8 points and 8 rebounds. Coach Holtmann utilized a number of lineups in the first half and it took some time for the Buckeyes to get rolling, but once they did, they left Cedarville in the rear view, enjoying a comfortable halftime lead.
A quick bucket off high low action with Kaleb Wesson catching the ball in the middle of the lane and dumped it to Young on the block for the score gave the Buckeyes a quick 16-point lead but Cedarville would not go away. A pair of three point plays, one from long and one the old-fashioned way trimmed the lead to 12. Ohio State kept the pressure on and a transition scoop and score from C.J. Walker put the Buckeyes up 50-33, forcing Cedarville to call timeout at the 16:39 mark. The Buckeyes grabbed their biggest lead of the game when C.J. Walker picked the pocket of the Cedarville point guard and took it to the rim for a lay in giving Ohio State a 54-33 advantage. Credit Cedarville however, because they wouldn’t go away. An 8-0 run that included a pair of triples cut the Buckeye lead back to 13 heading to the under 16 timeout with the Buckeyes in front of the Yellow Jackets 54-41. A Buckeye turnover out of the timeout led to another Jacket score, increasing the run to 10-0 and trimming the lead to just 11. That would be it for Cedarville as Kaleb Wesson ended the run on the next trip, bagging a fade away jumper that started an 8-0 Ohio State run. The Buckeye burst was capped by D.J. Carton who took the ball the length of the floor, splitting the defense for a thunderous dunk with the left hand, sending the teams to the benches for the under 12 timeout with Ohio State leading 62-43. The Buckeyes continued their separation, led by D.J. Carton, who drilled a triple from the right wing and then had a steal and score, capped by a thunderous one-handed slam forcing Cedarville to call a quick timeout with the Buckeyes leading the Jackets 71-44 and 9:03 remaining. The run continued out of the timeout as E.J. Liddell found Carton with a beautiful alley oop as part of a 23-1 run that saw the Buckeyes leading on the scoreboard 77-44 into the under 8 timeout. Chris Holtmann emptied his bench at the 5-minute mark as Ohio State cruised the rest of the way to close out the win.
It was a nice exhibition for Ohio State. They did many nice things, but there was plenty to work on coming out of the game. They didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from range against a variety of defenses that Cedarville threw at them, but they showed flashes of being tremendous in transition. The athleticism and quickness was evident but they rushed some shots early and were out of sync at times offensively as they learn to play with one another and Coach Holtmann finds a consistent rotation. The newcomers were certainly on full display, especially Carton and Walker, but E.J. Liddell looks to have the potential to be a major contributor as well. They have a week to look at tape from this and clean up some things in practice as the lights turn on for real next week.
The Buckeyes open the season for real next Wednesday as Team 121 hosts Cincinnati at 8:30 pm in the Schott, airing on FS1.
– Jason Harris