Buckeyes Torch Chicago State

By Chris Lauderback on December 29, 2012 at 6:46p

In their final tune-up before B1G play begins, the Buckeyes started sluggish but eventually ran away from Chicago State, 87-44, this afternoon in the Schott.

Ravenel had 10 rebounds in a reserve role

Thad Matta tweaked the lineup, giving Amir Williams his first collegiate start in place of Evan Ravenel, but it was Rav who rose to the occasion with 10 boards along with five points in 16 minutes of action.

Deshaun Thomas led the way with 17 points (7/13 FG), eight boards and four assists while Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 13 points (6/12 FG) and six rebounds. 

Off the bench and mostly with the game out of hand, LaQuinton Ross tallied 15 points (4/7 FG) in 21 minutes.

On the day, Ohio State shot a blistering 57% from the field, including 8/17 (47%) from distance after hitting just 2/9 from beyond the arc in the opening half.

Meanwhile, the Buckeye defense held the Cougars to 27% from the floor and forced 13 turnovers.

The biggest negative came as the Buckeyes connected on only 13/27 free throws (47%) with Deshaun and Lenzelle combining to shoot 2/10.

Aaron Craft had a bounce-back game of sorts with 10 points, six assists and four boards. Craft hit 4/6 from the field.

Shannon Scott battled a lower leg injury and later a busted lip, finishing with six points (3/3) and four assists.

It looked like the Buckeyes were still suffering from a Kansas hangover as they trailed Chicago State, 12-10, nearly eight minutes in but they finally shook off the cobwebs.

Deshaun got things started with a nice drive down the lane kicking off a 20-5 spurt that would give the Buckeyes a 30-17 lead with 2:24 left in the half. Thomas chipped in eight points total during the blitz and Ravenel, coming off the bench for the first time this season, played like his hair was on fire.

During the run, the senior hit a tough baseline jumper, converted a dunk off a nifty feed from Thomas, took a charge and grabbed two boards, the last leading directly to a bucket as he found Lenzelle for a breakaway layup.

The Buckeyes traded buckets over the final few minutes of the half, taking a 37-24 lead into the locker room.

Ohio State got 12 points from Thomas and 11 from Smith, both on 5/8 shooting, while Ravenel added six rips and four points.

Shooting 55% in the opening 20 minutes, Ohio State connected on just 2/9 from distance but with a 24-4 edge in points in the paint and a 13-0 edge in fast-break points, thanks largely to an ineffective Chicago State press, they led comfortably at the break.

Ohio State started the 2nd half on a 10-2 burst, hitting their first four shots and getting points from five different Buckeyes, to take a commanding 47-26 lead with 17:30 to play. 

Substituting freely, the game largely resembled an open gym from there, so I’ll spare you the details except to note Amedeo Della Valle hit 3/4 triples in the 2nd half, scoring 11 points. 

The win improves Ohio State to 10-2 on the year with Nebraska coming to the Schott to kick off B1G play next Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. on BTN.


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B1G 10 Buckeye Stuck in SEC Country's picture

They do look amazing against terds

" Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." - John Wayne 

Tim's picture

When they're clicking and they can get out and run, they look really good.  During the bad periods when they're sloppy with the ball and missing tons of 3s, they look terrible.  We're going to have to win some ugly games in the Big Ten schedule unless someone other than Thomas shows that they can make shots.

buckeyestu's picture

10-8 or 9-9 conference record this year, unless they improve dramatically.

Buckeye1996's picture

Thomas is a monster and has NBA tatooed all over him. We do need another consistent outside shooter and I am hoping Smith starts to tee it up. Maybe Scott too.
Also, we are going to get killed inside if Amir doesn't develop quickly. Legit big men like Plumlee and Withey tore us up inside.
Love the team but I hope we develop quickly for BIG play!
Anyone else miss Deebler! 

RBuck's picture

I think that this season they're missing Sully a whole lot more.

Long live the southend.

baddogmaine's picture

By playing Thomas 33 minutes in a game we won by 40 Matta was saying that he has no substitute for Tank and isn't intersted in finding one. On the one hand Thomas is not just the only proven scorer but a really good scorer. On the other hand as teams that can institute Thomas Rules defenses the chances of frustration fouls by Deshaun or injury go up, and while player unavaiability can derail even the best teams the very best teams try to have a contingency that they hope they will never need. The Buckeyes will sink or swim with Thomas.
Yesterday's game otherwise showed very very little. Holding anyone to 26% is good defense. Taking 17 threes, even if you hit 8, is not great offensive discipline. I don't mind so much the 7 attempts by Ross and Della Valle, that's what they'll be in for, but 5 by Thomas is too much in the last chance to try to develop an inside game. Ravenel responded to not starting by boarding with intent. I think Williams is the more focused rebounder on the whole, neither has much of an offensive game.
And now the grind starts. NE was thought to be the conference doormat, may be better than that. Still should be a win. We will get a better idea about who we are on Jan 5 at IL.

wjpalumbo's picture

This team is still a work in progress and will hopefully work it out by the end of the conference schedule.  Thad Matta is an outstanding coach and will put something together that will make this team better and more consistent.  I think just as important is the team developing some confidence.  You can see Ross,Thompson and Scott starting to get more involved in the offense and the big guys are getting a little more agressive.  They are going to need more of this when they play tougher opponents every game in the Big 10 schedule.



baddogmaine's picture

Thompson starts, he'd BETTER be involved in the offense! Scott is the point when he comes in, he'd BETTER be involved in the offense! Psyche is important, no doubt about it, but it is given more importance than it deserves. The team had no right to gain confidence from yesterday's game - beating Chi St by 40 in no way makes up for losing to the only good teams we faced, one of them at home, and the team knows it. More important than "confidence" is knowing what to do when the going is tough, and yesterday helped very little with that. As I have already said I would have liked yesterday to have been an opportunity to see how the team pulls together without Thomas - that could have been a confidence builder!

wjpalumbo's picture

I agree with everything you said except the importance of confidence.  The more this team gets in rythm and starts knocking down shots, the better they will be able to handle the tough situations.  Burying Chicago St isn't the important thing here but the ability to get more players involved and in sync will pay dividends in the future.



RedStorm45's picture

Start amadeo!!