It was tough on the eyes, but Ohio State (9-2) slowly and surely posted a 60-44 victory over the Delaware State
Clock-Runnin' Bitches Hornets this afternoon in Value City Arena.
The Hornets slow it down style combined with sloppy and disinterested play from OSU allowed D-State to hold a 7-5 lead nearly eight minutes in before Jeremie Simmons once again provided a spark off the bench triggering a 20-10 run to close the half. Simmons got it started with a triple to retake the lead then hit another bomb on the ensuing possession pushing OSU up 11-7 with 10:55 left. Closing out the run, Simmons would team with Wil Buford to force a Hornet turnover then find Buford with an alley-oop lob to make it 20-13 then Simmons closed the half with another perfectly placed lob to Dallas Lauderdale for a thunder dunk and a 25-17 halftime lead.
That little burst was about all the excitement provided on the day as the Hornets walked it up every time down rarely shooting with less than :05 on the shot clock while committing six shot clock violations.
The slow tempo had a negative impact on Jon Diebler as he once again struggled to get looks out of the half court sets. He simply can't shake his man with any consistency, is still not cutting hard enough off picks and doesn't appear even willing to try and take his man off the bounce. As a result, he managed five shots on the day with his first coming nearly 12 minutes into the game. He did add a team high seven caroms but his lack of offense (8 pts) is only putting more pressure on Buford, David Lighty and Simmons.
Thankfully, Wil Buford again brought enough heat to lead the way with 18 points (6/10) including 11 as the Buckeyes slowly pulled away in the second half. Even more impressive is the fact Buford dished out another six dimes against zero turnovers. The WB has 24 assists in the last four games while shooting 22/44 from the floor. Good stuff.
Lighty complemented Buford with 12 points (5/8) and four boards but he coughed it up four times as the Buckeyes racked up 13 turnovers against only 10 for the Hornets. Lauderdale continued his FG accuracy onslaught going 5/6, good for 11 points, but he again was a no show on the glass with just two rebounds. I keep reading comments from him about how he's working on his glass eating but I'm still waiting to see it.
Rounding on the scoring, Simmons finished with seven, all in the first half, while adding three steals in 22 minutes. P.J. Hill continued to look like he's doing a lot without actually doing much going 0/2 from the floor with two points and two assists against one turnover.
For the game, the Buckeyes continued their season long hot field goal shooting with a 59.5% effort though the threes were just so-so dropping at a 35% clip (6/17). The stripe remains a concern after a 10/14 effort (71%).
Ohio State has just one more non-conference tilt before Big Ten play gets underway and it comes against Cleveland State on Tuesday night. This one looks like an automatic W on paper as the Vikings enter the game 4-8 but that includes a two point loss against Huggy Bear's undefeated Mountaineers earlier today.
That might actually be a good thing. It should surely get Ohio State's attention.