Buckeyes Cruise Past Charleston Southern

Ohio State trailed only once, in the opening moments when Charleston Southern scored the first bucket of the game but the Buckeyes answered quickly with an 11-0 run and were never threatened, coasting to a 82-56 win to move to 2-0 on the young season. Zed Key used a big first half and led 4 Buckeyes in doubles, finishing the game with his second straight double double, with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Brice Sensabaugh added 14, while Sean McNeil and Justice Sueing scored 13 and 11 respectively. The Buckeyes shot 52% for the game, despite hitting just 4 of 15 from long range, while holding the Buccaneers to just 34%. Ohio State commanded the glass to the tune of 18 second chance points and outrebounded Charleston Southern 47-28, including 14 of the offensive variety which was a big contributor to the dominating win.

The Buckeyes started fast and never looked back. After Charleston Southern scored the first two points of the game, the Buckeyes scored the next 11, including 6 off of three Buccaneer turnovers.  Zed Key scored the first six Buckeye points with an offensive rebound and dunk, a tip in and in transition took a feed from Ice Likekele for a dunk. Another transition opportunity had Bruce Thornton finding Sean McNeil at the top for 3 and Justice Sueing went off the bounce into the paint and scored the bucket that put Ohio State up 11-2 and forced Charleston Southern to take a timeout at the 16:08 mark. The Buckeyes not only forced 3 turnovers, they also had 4 offensive rebounds in the opening moments contributing to the early lead. The Buccaneers ended the Ohio State 11-0 run with a bucket, but Likekele found Key for a dunk with a nifty interior pass from the left block to the right. After another CSU hoop, it was more Buckeyes. Inside, outside passing from Key to McNeil for a three from the top and a Key rebound and put back put Ohio State on top 20-6 and CSU took another timeout with 12:08 to go in the first 20 minutes. More Buckeyes out of the timeout. After a CSU miss, Likekele and Key executed a beautiful pick and roll and Key finished off the glass as he was fouled and made the freebie to complete the three point play and put Ohio State up 23-6. Charleston Southern got back on the board, splitting a pair of free throws, but more Buckeyes followed. A pair of Tanner Holden free throws dropped and after a CSU miss, Holden quickly got the ball ahead to Roddy Gayle who scored off the glass and after yet another CSU miss, Brice Sensabaugh took the ball on the left wing and with a hesitation dribble, scored off the glass while being fouled. He knocked down the freebie to complete the three point play and at the next dead ball, the under 8 media timeout too effect with Ohio State dominating Charleston Southern, 30-7. After a CSU bucket, Sensabaugh drilled a step back triple from the right point to answer. CSU got a jumper to fall from the top, but a pair of Bruce Thornton field goals dropped and after an empty CSU possession, Sensabaugh went one on one from the right wing and pulled up from 10 for a score. CSU dropped a triple to cut into the lead a bit, but a pair of Sueing free throws slowed the Buccaneer attempt to cut into the lead further. Another CSU hoop took the teams to the final media timeout of the half with Ohio State enjoying a commanding 41-18 lead. The Buckeyes extended the lead when Likekele put it on the deck and with a spin, got to the rim for a score as he was fouled. He missed the subsequent free throw and after CSU got a pair of freebies to drop, Sueing got into the lane with a scoop and score and completed the old fashioned three point play, knocking down the free throw. With time winding down, CSU scored with a tip in at the horn and after a half of basketball, Ohio State was on top, 46-22. Zed Key led the Buckeyes in the first half with a double double, 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Justice Sueing added 9 and Brice Sensabaugh added 8. Ohio State shot 52% from the floor, holding Charleston Southern to just 29%, including just 1-11 from beyond the arc. The Buckeyes dominated the glass, particularly the offensive glass, pulling down 10 of their 25 rebounds on that end and holding the Buccaneers to just 14 total boards. The Buckeyes scored 12 points off those second chance opportunities in a dominating first half of basketball. 

It was all Buckeyes in the opening moments of the second half. McNeil drilled a corner jumper to open the second half scoring and after a CSU triple, a pair of free throws by Sueing, and a technical free throw from McNeil after a flop technical was called on CSU, Sueing penetrated and fed Key for a dunk which led to a CSU timeout with the Buckeyes leading 53-25. After a  pair of Buccaneer freebies, Likekele found Key on a give and go for a dunk and on the next possession, McNeil tipped in a Key miss and at the under 16 media timeout, Ohio State was up 57-27. The Buckeyes extended the lead when Sensabaugh scored off the bounce in the middle of the lane.  The Buccaneers scored the next 7 as Ohio State was getting a little careless with the basketball. The run ended when Felix Okpara caught a pass deep in the paint and after a couple dribbles went up strong for a dunk. After another Charleston Southern hoop, Sensabaugh got a short jumper to fall while being fouled, sending the teams to the benches for the under 12 media timeout with Ohio State leading 63-36. After a CSU bucket, Sensabaugh took a Gayle pass along the baseline and dunked with authority, getting the crowd on their feet. A pair of CSU buckets sandwiched around a Thornton runner and the Buckeyes led by 25 with 10 minutes to go. The lead increased when Thornton curled into the lane and scored off the glass. After a Buccaneer hoop, Thornton bagged a pair of freebies to hold the lead at 27. A CSU triple was immediately answered by a Gayle triple from the left point and at the under 8, Ohio State was ahead 74-47. Four straight Buccaneer points were answered by six straight Buckeye points. A put back from McNeil was followed by a Gayle runner off the window and two Gayle free throws led to the final media timeout with Ohio State leading 80-51. The Buccaneers finished the game on a 5-2 run with the Buckeye points coming from a rebound and put back by The Citadel transfer and walk-on Owen Spencer as the Buckeyes completed a pretty easy win.

It was the case of another game where Ohio State’s depth and athleticism just overmatched their opponent. Although it got a little ragged and careless with the ball late, it was a solid 40 minutes of basketball for Ohio State. While the turnovers (14), many coming late, outnumbered the assists (11), which is not ideal, the Buckeyes did the majority of their damage in the paint, out scoring CSU 50-20 in the painted area. The Buckeyes continue to show their depth, scoring 29 points off the bench with Chris Holtmann utilizing a 9-man rotation similar to the first game. That bench will extend a bit next week with the expected return of junior Gene Brown III, who has missed the first two ball games in concussion protocol and his ability to defend in the half court along with his veteran leadership will be a welcomed return. If there is any area for improvement out of this game, it’s the fact that Ohio State got a little too reliant of the one on one game in the halfcourt at times, with guys standing a bit, but when the ball went up, they did a nice job of crashing and either getting the rebound or keeping the possession alive by getting a hand on the basketball. While there are plenty of things to be excited about for this team, there is still plenty to learn for the 4 freshmen who see the majority of the minutes and continue to develop a chemistry on the floor with the veterans, new and old. They will have one more tuneup game before a ramp up in competition in the Maui Classic, where they will play a ranked San Diego State team and depending on how they do, potentially see another ranked team or two. 

Ohio State next tips it up on Wednesday Night, hosting Eastern Illinois at the Schott.  Scheduled game time for that game is 7:00 PM, airing on BTN.

-Jason Harris

Leave a Reply