#10th Ranked Ohio State Rolls Stetson

Ohio State, up to 10th in the most recent AP poll, successfully defended their early ranking, dominating visiting Stetson 86-51. Facing a seriously under matched opponent, Ohio State jumped out big early and cruised to move to 4-0 on the season.  Ohio State dominated the Hatters in every facet of the game playing suffocating defense and efficient half-court offense to completely overwhelm Stetson for the majority of the game.  The Buckeyes held the Hatters to just 16 made field goals, which marks the 4th straight game holding their opponent to 20 or under field goals made. Kyle Young led the Buckeyes with a double double, scoring 14 points and adding 10 rebounds.  Kaleb Wesson chipped in 13 and 8 rebounds and D.J. Carton added 10. 

It was all Buckeyes from the tip for the second straight game, jumping out to a quick 8-0 lead forcing 3 Hatter turnovers leading Stetson to call timeout just 2:13 seconds into the game.  The Hatters finally got on the board with a banked in three from the left point nearly 3:30 into the game, but Ohio State’s Luther Muhammad answered on the ensuing possession with a triple of his own from the top of the key and Ohio State led 11-3 at the first media timeout. The Buckeye onslaught continued out of the timeout, despite Kaleb Wesson picking his second foul at the 14:20 mark and heading to the bench.  Wesson’s replacement, Kyle Young scored 6 straight as part of a 14-0 run and Andre Wesson buried a 3 from the corner putting the Buckeyes up 22-3 at the under 12 minute media timeout.  Facing a 1-2-2 zone defense just before the timeout, the Buckeye ball movement and quickness was too much for the Hatters as Ohio State’s run ballooned to 20 straight, capped off by an Ibrahima Diallo baby hook in the lane off the glass.  The Hatters finally got on the scoreboard again from the free throw line but the Buckeye ferocious defense continued to disrupt everything Stetson tried to do in the half court.  Stetson finally broke their field goal drought, hitting a jumper at the 2:04 mark, which was their first made shot in over 14 minutes.  A pair of back-to-back Stetson threes late in the half gave the Hatters a little life but the Buckeyes were well in control of the game, leading 42-14 at the break.  Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 9 and Kyle Young added 8 for the Buckeyes, who hit 48% of their shot attempts while holding Stetson to a dismal 4 of 28 from the field, including 9 turnovers.  The Buckeyes also hit 3 of 7 from deep and made 9 of 10 from the stripe, in a half that saw 11 Buckeyes see action and completely dominate the entire 20 minutes.

Ohio State’s onslaught continued into the second half and the activity in the half court was on full display on their opening possession, reversing the ball multiple times and finally an inside out from Kaleb Wesson on the opposite block finding Duane Washington on the far wing for 3. Ohio State’s lead increased to 53-17 following another Washington triple and Stetson took a timeout just 3 minutes into the half. The lead would continue to grow, sitting at 63-19 before the Hatters finally cracked the 20 point plateau with 14:24 left in the game.  A rare Kyle Young triple from the top put Ohio State up 70-27 at the 10:30 mark of the second half and back to back triples off the fingertips of Justin Ahrens from virtually the same spot in the right corner had Ohio State on top 76-30 and cruising.  The game got sloppy late as the Buckeyes were able to empty their bench early but the outcome was far from in doubt.

The Buckeyes will clearly play better opponents than the one they saw tonight, but games like this are important to get valuable minutes for the entire roster.  Justin Ahrens and Ibrahima Diallo, who didn’t see action in the Villanova game, were able to get in the ballgame early and contribute which will help the depth of the basketball team down the road.  Games like this aren’t as much about the opponent as it is the Buckeyes themselves.  For the most part, they were able to execute with efficiency in the half court and knock down open shots to give them something to build on going forward.  They were excellent from the free throw line, burying 16 of 19, which helps with confidence which they will need when playing a more challenging opponent.  They were also able to get quality minutes from Andre Wesson, who missed the previous two games with a fractured eye socket.  All in all, a solid all-around performance for Ohio State despite the opponent and nobody is going to apologize for moving to 4-0.

The Buckeyes take the floor again on Friday evening, hosting Purdue Ft. Wayne at 7pm in the Schott.  Tip time scheduled for 7pm to be aired on BTN Plus.

-Jason Harris

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