Knowing much of Buckeye Nation was still catching their collective breath following the footballer's comeback win in Iowa City, the basketball Buckeyes made quick work of Buzz Petersen's UNC Wilmington squad starting the game on an 18-4 blitz before closing the half with a 24-3 burst on their way to a lopsided 81-41 win tonight in the Schott.
Wil Buford fueled the early run scoring six points on a smooth stroke from the left wing, a putback of a Deshaun Thomas miss and two free throws while David Lighty and Jordan Sibert triggered the half's closing run. Leading 26-11, Lighty made the play of the game stealing a Seahawk inbounds pass at half court, dribbling behind his back to avoid the defender then throwing down a reverse jam, two of his seven points during the decisive run. Meanwhile, Sibert flashed a lightning quick release from the perimeter hitting three of four triple-tries including back to back rainmakers pushing OSU's lead to 40-16 with 3:09 left before Jared Sullinger's free throw gave the Buckeyes a 48-16 lead at intermission.
The 1st half saw the Buckeyes shoot 51.5% from the floor and 47% from deep paced by Lighty's 10 points (3/4 FG), nine each from Sibert (3/4 FG) and Thomas (4/6) while Sullinger added eight points and six rips. The hot 1st half shooting was the result of continued unselfish play (13 assists) and quick ball movement against a mix of man and zone from UNC Wilmington as four Buckeyes registered at least two dimes in the opening 20 minutes. Ohio State also brought the defense early holding the Seahawks to 27% shooting whlie forcing 11 1st half turnovers against 0 assists.
The final 20 minutes would prove to be more of the same as Ohio State used a 16-4 run out of the locker room increasing the lead to 64-20 capped by a Buford splash from the top of the circle with 14:14 to play. The game resembled a Worthington summer league affair the rest of the way with Matta substituting freely allowing five Buckeyes to reach double figures led by 17 from the freshman Thomas. Speaking of the freshman, they outscored the Seahawks 46-41 with Thomas most notably receiving help from Sullinger (11 pts, 8 reb) and Siber (11 pts, 5 reb). Aaron Craft scored just three points in 16 minutes.
The veterans were paced by 12 points, six boards and five assists from the WB while Lighty added 10 points in 20 minutes. Twin Cities made his presence known in the paint pulling down 10 boards with five blocks in 21 minutes. Jon Diebler chipped in nine points (3/8 FG), four rips and three dimes.
For the game, OSU shot just 45% but won the glass 47-24 while holding UNCW to 32% shooting with 19 turnovers. Next up: Morehead State next Tuesday night at 7pm.