Buckeyes Make Easy Work of UNC Asheville in 90-72 Win

By Kyle Rowland on December 15, 2012 at 3:25p

To better prepare for its new up-tempo offense, Ohio State has been using a 22-second shot clock in practice. During Saturday’s 90-point effort against UNC Asheville, not even a 10-second shot clock would have slowed the Buckeyes down. 

Lenzelle Smith and Aaron Craft returned to form.

Ohio State shot 59 percent from the field and enjoyed contributions from nearly its entire roster in the 90-72 win. Four players scored in double figures with Sam Thompson finishing with a career-high 18 points while providing fans with several SportsCenter worthy dunks.

“We wanted to score in transition more to have a greater push in the game,” Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said. “I think the spacing is getting better with our team, and we're getting the ball to the open man a lot better.”

Deshaun Thomas finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Lenzelle Smith Jr. 16 points and Evan Ravenel tied a career high with 12 points, all in the first half. Ravenel connected on six of his seven field goal attempts, continuing a recent hot streak after a lackluster start to the season.

The highlight of the day came late in the second half when Thompson rose up for a windmill dunk and completed the task with authority. The 15,041 fans in Value City Arena roared with approval.

“I didn’t have the space to get the ball all around, but Deshaun made a great pass,” Thompson said. “It helped me to get the crowd into the game and our guys fired up.”

Asheville played into the Buckeyes’ hands by attempting to go along with the fast-paced game speed. While guard Keith Hornsby filled up the rim – 26 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the field and 6 of 8 from three-point range – the rest of the team only made 16 field goals. That allowed Ohio State to use its athleticism and ball movement to get up and down the court, which created easy scoring opportunities. 

Thanks for flying Thompson Airlines.

“We didn’t get back on defense all night long, and we didn’t penetrate,” UNC Asheville head coach Eddie Biedenbach said. “We didn’t play defense like we can. I know Ohio State is really good, but they shouldn’t have been able to do that against us. I was disappointed with the way we played overall.”

The Buckeyes scored 26 fast break points and assisted on 25 of 36 field goals.

Ohio State led, 50-35, at halftime and already had three players in double figures. Any semblance of a comeback in the second half evaporated for the Bulldogs after the Buckeyes used a 15-3 run to extend their lead to 27 points.

Despite the large deficit, Asheville shot 52 percent from the field in the first half. But a 34-percent effort in the second half doomed them.

The play of Ohio State’s bench has been a recurring story this season. In the three games prior to Saturday, they scored at least 32 points. That number fell to 21 against Asheville, but it continues to be a bright spot for Matta.

“I hope that we’ve got three or four guys coming off the bench that can make an impact somehow, some way (all season),” Matta said.

Another trend is Shannon Scott’s all-around game. His assist-to-turnover ratio is reaching epic proportions. He had nine assists and one turnover Saturday and complemented it with seven points and six steals.

Meanwhile, fellow point guard Aaron Craft got his shot making back on track after a horrific five-game stretch. He converted on three of four shot attempts and finished with six points.

“I think Ohio State is one of the top six teams in the country,” Biedenbach said. “Talent-wise I think they can get all the way to No. 1.”


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Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

On another note, Indiana looks awful right now. Tons of defensive breakdowns and no real offense. 

Read my entire screen name....

captain obvious's picture

they might lose but they have 4 legit lottery picks

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Not seeing a single one today. Just really sloppy and unorganized ball

Read my entire screen name....

captain obvious's picture

Ive just watched the last five minutes and they look super explosive

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

No way we we're watching the same game. They played well the last two minutes, but it still wasn't team ball. Indiana should win, butlers 2 best are out.  That was a CLUTCH shot though

Read my entire screen name....

BROSEPH's picture

Other than Zeller and Oladipo (sp?), I'm not very impressed with their roster, the one little point guard isn't as good as he thinks he is.  Still a solid top 10 team, but that team isn't loaded with NBA talent like Kentucky was/is.  

captain obvious's picture

they will win by 8-10 in overtime

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

captain obvious's picture

the Butler kids arent backing down
Indiana will be real lucky just to get out with a W

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

captain obvious's picture

the Ohio kid making the huge shot

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

captain obvious's picture


I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

osubuckeye4life's picture

I would like to nominate Sam Thompson's nickname be one of two:
Any other suggestions?

Nick's picture

Slam Thompson i guess would work idk tho

osubuckeye4life's picture

Craft's expression in that pic is priceless. 

Elevation son! 

About to throw down.
I think he nearly hit his head on the backboard with this bad boy!

BeijingBucks's picture

In that first half Ravanel was Ravenous! Beast mode. Loved the dunk where he split three defenders... Fun game. Hornsby was insanely lights out or they would have won by 50

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Really happy to see Shannon Scott progress. Great kid who is going to be really special these next couple of years. 

Lincoln's picture

Love Thad playing the bench big minutes, deep roster will be huge in B1G play. Let's hope he continues to use all the guys

Bolt's picture

Does anyone have any video that they've been able to find of Slam Thompson's windmill??? I didn't get to watch yesterday and wanted to see it. I'm so thrilled with the play of Shannon Scott this season. He, to me, looks like the most improved player from last year. He just plays with sooo much more confidence than he did last year.