Ohio State Runs Over Morgan State
The 10th ranked Ohio State basketball Buckeyes moved to 7-0, completing a perfect November blowing out the visiting Morgan State Bears 90-57. 12 of the 13 Buckeyes who saw action in this game reached the scoring column as Ohio State dominated from start to finish and was no match for the Bears as Buckeye nation now turns their attention to the gridiron with ‘The Game’ as the football Buckeyes head up to the School Up North, on tap for noon tomorrow. But on the basketball floor tonight, the Buckeyes had no troubles. Andre Wesson was perfect from the floor and led all scorers with 19 along with 7 boards. Kaleb Wesson added 13 and 8 rebounds and C.J. Walker added 10.
Morgan State scored the first 4 of the game before a 5-0 Buckeye run, but Morgan State answered and led 6-5 two minutes into the game. A pair of threes in the first four minutes for the Buckeyes, one each by Kaleb Wesson and Duane Washington gave Ohio State a 10-6 lead at the first media timeout. The Bears would proceed to go scoreless over the next 5 plus minutes and the Buckeyes extended the lead to 16-8, doubling up the Bears at the under 12 timeout and would not look back. The Buckeyes went on another 7-0 run, created by smothering defense and after Andre Wesson drilled a triple from the right wing, Morgan State called timeout, trailing the Buckeyes 26-10 with 8:39 to play in the half. The Buckeyes scored the next 5 out of the timeout. Kaleb Wesson found his brother Andre on the left wing for another three and on the following Bear possession, C.J. Walker picked up a steal and with the Euro step in transition, laid it in off the glass and Ohio State led 31-10, utilizing lock down defense, quickness and depth. The Buckeyes continued to expand the lead and after D.J. Carton found Justin Ahrens for three on the right wing and Ahrens split a pair of free throws, Ohio State led 45-15 with 90 seconds left in the first 20 minutes. Morgan State finished the half, scoring the last 3, but remained well behind with Ohio State on top 45-18 at the break. The Buckeyes M.O. so far in the young season has been their stifling defense, contesting every opponent shot and tonight was no different, holding Morgan State to just 26% from the field and outscoring the Bears 14-0 off turnovers. 8 of the 10 Buckeyes who saw action scored, led by Andre Wesson’s 11 and Kaleb Wesson added 9 points and 8 first half rebounds. C.J. Walker also chipped in 8 points for the Buckeyes in the first half.
Ohio State extended the lead early in the second half and after Andre Wesson buried a three at the 15-minute mark, the Buckeyes enjoyed their largest lead to that point, leading the Bears 62-31. Another Andre Wesson triple from the right wing tickled the twine as Ohio State was rolling. Duane Washington Jr. took a rebound coast to coast, splitting the Bear defense for a lay in high off the glass and Ohio State enjoyed their largest lead thus far at the under 8 media timeout, on top 78-46 and cruising to the finish. Equally impressive as their dominance defensively was their free throw shooting, hitting 21 of 26 from the stripe, good for 81%, which is by far their best percentage at the line in the young season.
Ohio State continues to be extremely difficult on opposing offenses, which will serve them well when they play better opponents because as they say, defense wins championships and in basketball, it’s no different. The Buckeyes length and athleticism shows on both ends of the floor and they share the basketball on the offensive end as well as any team in college basketball. They still have their go to guy in Kaleb Wesson but the Buckeye backcourt of Walker, Carton, Muhammad and Washington are as good as any group in the Big Ten and possibly the entire nation. They have their signature wins early and they have feasted on the mid majors so far and if you look around the country at the college basketball landscape, that isn’t always as easy as it seems on paper. The schedule ramps up again in the upcoming weeks as they play 4 of their next 6 games on the road, but if they can continue to play efficient on the offensive end and aggressive defensively, they will be able to play with anyone on their schedule.
The Buckeyes will head to the road in one of the most difficult places to play in the country when they face 5th ranked (as of now) North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Wednesday night at 9:30 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tip time for that one is scheduled for 9:30 pm, airing on ESPN.
– Jason Harris