You know it's bad when you lose by 24 and improve your RPI ranking from 318 to 294.
That's exactly what happened tonight as Ohio State got a much needed layup with an 89-65 paddling of Houston Baptist.
Wil Buford's career high 19 points (6/13 FG) complemented Evan Turner's stat stuffer special featuring 15 points by way of a perfect shooting night (6/6 FG, 3/3 FT), seven boards, three assists, three steals and a donut in the turnover column.
The Buckeyes also got a career high eight assists from Jon Diebler. Miraculously, OSU assisted on 25 of 32 field goals, easily the most unselfish night of the season, helping 10 guys register at least one bucket.
As Matta mentioned in the post game, a home cupcake also served as a great time to get Nikola Kecman's feet wet.
In his first action as a Buckeye, Kecman scored six points and pulled down five boards albeit against a decidely NAIA-ish defense. He looked fairly fluid and comfortable facing the basket but we'll have to see him against some conference teams before getting a feel for if he can help at all and I'm not sure Matta plans to do that. I mean, whose minutes could he possibly take?
This one was over at halftime after the Buckeyes used a 31-11 burst to take a 55-26 lead in to the locker room.
The big first half was useful in that it allowed Matta to give 10 guys at least 11 minutes. It was nice to see Walter Offutt get some time but he still doesn't likely figure into the rotation any time soon with the wings clogged and the the Artist Formerly Known as the Predator providing serviceable minutes at the point since Crater decided South Florida was the best place to showcase his skeelz.
The lopsided affair also gave Matta a chance to rest iron men Diebler (27 min) and Turner (29 min) though I'm a little frustrated with the fact Thad played them as much as he did considering they're both averaging over 34 minutes a game as true sophomores.
The victory moved Ohio State to 11-3 with a very winnable home game against Indiana slated for Tuesday.
The game was not without a bit of bad news as the Trillion Man March learned Mark Titus will be out roughly six weeks after Lauderdale stomped him out in practice. In his absence, Peters made a run at a two trillion but he selfishly took a shot with 69 seconds left.