Playing their first D-1 season, the Presbyterian College Blue Hose actually led OSU 14-11 nine minutes in before a 16-0 Buckeye run led to a 40-20 lead at the half. The second half was more of the same as the Buckeyes came out with a 12-0 burst leading to an 87-43 rout.
The Buckeyes were scorching from the field (71%) including 10/15 from downtown and the full court press produced 18 turnovers but the 'game' was such a mismatch that it's hard to get too excited about what we witnessed.
Kosta Koufos bounced back from his recent benching with 21 points on 8/9 shooting but continued his trend of avoiding contact at all costs, it just didn't matter against the overmatched Blue Hose. Koufos moved freely along the baseline against the PC zone defense notching easy buckets on nice feeds from Jamar Butler and the high post passers to fuel the 16-0 first half run.
Butler dropped in 16 points (6/8 FG) but more importantly, his 8 assists gave the offense some flow allowing OSU to scale back on the ridiculous amount of three point shots they took Monday against Coppin State. In that game, the Buckeyes attempted more threes (22) than two's (19) because the offense lacked movement. Today, only 15 of the 49 total shots came from deep although the level of competition most certainly had a lot to do with the offense looking like, well, an offense.
At the other end of the floor, the Buckeye defense continues to get the job done. Taking away penetration and anything on the low blocks, Thad's matchup zone held the Blue Hose to 34% shooting forcing them into 32 three point attempts out of 44 total shots. The Buckeyes also had a good day on the glass with a 30-14 edge.
Individually, Evan 'Turner-over' made his second straight start and lived up to the nickname Corey bestowed upon him last week committing 7 turnovers in 17 minutes of action. That makes 12 miscues in his two starts and marked the third time this year he had atleast 5 in a game. Turner's got the skills to be a double digit scorer but he's been consistently careless with the rock, most notably on some of the laziest post entry passes we've ever seen.
Othello Hunter added 13 points (6/8 FG), 5 boards and 3 assists hitting double figures for the 4th time in 9 games. Fellow starter David Lighty hit a couple threes and finished with 8 points and 5 boards.
Jon Diebler came off the bench with an active 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in just 13 minutes. In total, the reserves added 24 points and 12 boards after scoring just 4 points in the last 3 games combined. Besides Diebler, Eric Wallace (6 pts, 4 reb) and P.J. Hill (5 pts) gave Thad the most off the pine.
Again, I have no reason to believe today's win is a sign of growth based on the opponent but the Buckeyes did what they were supposed to do and remain on track to be no worse than 8-4 when the conference season begins.Cleveland State is up next (Tue 12/18) so secure your valuables if you see former Buckeye/Viking Damon Stringer hanging around.