"Ohio" Beats Ohio; Chaos Ensues Up North

By Kyle Rowland on November 12, 2013 at 9:30p

Same lineup, similar result. Or at least it appeared it would be that way.

Thad Matta said he could use several different starting lineups this season, but Game 2 against the Ohio Bobcats produced the same five – Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott, Lenzelle Smith Jr., LaQuinton Ross and Amir Williams – that debuted in 10th-ranked Ohio State’s 89-50 season-opening win over Morgan State.

The quintet built a 9-0 lead in the early going Tuesday that eventually stretched to 24-7 before the rhythm was stalled due to a plethora of fouls – 25 in all during the first 20 minutes. The new defensive rules couldn’t stump the Buckeyes forever, though, as they eked out a closer-than-expected 79-69 victory over in-state foe Ohio.

Ohio State had four players finish in double-figures scoring with Craft leading the way with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Craft’s point total came on just two field goals. Williams recorded his first double-double of the season, finishing with a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds, Sam Thompson provided 12 points off the bench and Ross had 10 points.

But the story was the constant sound of whistles. There were 55 fouls called in 40 minutes – five Bobcats fouled out. Fourteen of Craft’s 18 points came at the line and Ohio State scored nearly half of its 79 points from the charity stripe (38). The Buckeyes attempted 51 free throws and 44 field goals.

“We have to continue to adjust,” Matta said. “Our biggest thing is going to be continuing to adjust defensively.”

Ohio State only connected on 18-of-44 shots from the field and 5-of-18 three-point attempts. It led 40-28 at the half, but let OU creep back into the game. The Bobcats trailed by as few as five points in the final four minutes.

“Down the stretch we made some big plays, I was happy with the things we did right,” Matta said.

With the Buckeyes building a substantial lead in the first half, Matta was liberal with his bench use. Thompson, Amedeo Della Valle and Trey McDonald entered the game before five minutes had past in the first half. Freshman Marc Loving was inserted not long after. Combined, they chipped in with 20 bench points.

Ohio State never trailed. Its lead did not dip below 10 points in the first half and grew to as much as 17 points. But the constant stoppages in play appeared to affect both teams, as the final 10 minutes of the half were stagnant and produced sloppy basketball. 

“I personally do not feel as though Ohio University did anything to stop our game,.” Smith said. “We stopped trusting our system and doing the things that put points on the board for us. We struggled a little bit down the stretch and, unfortunately, we were not doing what we needed to do.”

In both games this season, the Buckeyes have lived up to their billing as an elite defensive team. OU shot less than 45 percent from the field and made just five 3s.

Despite the two schools’ campuses being located just 81 miles apart, Tuesday night’s game was the first between Ohio State and OU in 19 years, when the Bobcats beat a rebuilding Buckeye squad that would only win six games that season. Ohio State is now one of the nation’s premier programs, making deep NCAA Tournament runs a yearly tradition and sending players to the NBA each June.

The battle for state supremacy pitted family and friends against one another. Scarlet and gray, and green and white could be spotted throughout Value City Arena, often worn by people sitting side-by-side. In an interesting twist, Clark Kellogg, an Ohio State basketball great and member of the university’s Board of Trustees, was wearing an Ohio University shirt. His son, Nick, a senior, had a game-high tying 21 points.

“It was nice to come back to Columbus,” Nick said. “There was no trouble. I’m his son, so he’s going to root for me.”

The Buckeyes play at No. 17 Marquette on Saturday. 


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Buckeyebrowny919's picture


To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

zbd's picture

Not impressed. Matta has work to do.

81Alum's picture

That's going to be one tough game coming up Saturday. I trust Matta will use this game as a learning experience and the Bucks will be ready.

Mute's picture

72 combined freethrows makes for a VERY boring game

jacobv77's picture

Terrible game to watch.  The only bright spots were Sam Thompson's ducks other than that it was just us missing shots,shooting free throws, and letting OU players drive the lane repeatedly for easy scores. 

skid21's picture


The only bright spots were Sam Thompson's ducks

They're awesome.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Based on that black line, I thought that was suppose to be Anthony Davis. lol

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Gray Box's picture

Here are the highlights with a few really nice Slam Thompson's dunks:

Seabass1974's picture

Ohio State does what m*chigan couldn't do, beat Ohio.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. - Woody Hayes

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Amir Williams is still a turnstile. Good Lord, help us.

TheShookster's picture

If you would have told me before the game he would end up with 14 and 10 I would have laughed. Not because I don't like Amir but because we don't exactly expect him to get double doubles.
Tonight showed me that he still needs work, but I think he is actually improving. Perhaps I am crazy or stupid, that's what my fiancee usually says!

He ain't even stretch doe!!

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Williams is playing far tougher than he was last year, perhaps you forget where is was.  Let's just be clear that Williams was never an elite scorer - he is a rebounder and a defensive presence.  I thought Williams played with great intensity on the boards, was happy with his FT shooting, and was thrilled by what seemed to be vastly improved hand strength - recalling his butter fingers last year and getting the ball poked out of his hands by a stiff breeze.  
For me, if I have to be critical of one player, it's still Ross.  I wasn't in his camp last year because he seemed lost.  He still seems lost on the court and appears to me to be a step slow.  Don't get me wrong, he has potential and a great shot, but his defense does not appear to have improved one bit as was beaten repeatedly, sometimes so fast that rotation couldn't even happen.  On offense, he's still indecisive.  
It's a long season.  Plenty of time for every player to grow.

Read my entire screen name....

Squirrel Master's picture

Right there with you. Last year I said Amir was better than he was his freshman year and people just got on me about that. Well, its true. Its not like Amir is Greg Oden but he is slowly growing and I think he is much more active this year so far. He seems to be starting to understand that he needs to move towards the ball for rebounds and blocks. He seems to be fighting harder. Now he is not going to dominate and become what the expectations were. I'm just saying that he was really awful his freshman year and was just showing flashes of potential but wasn't even close to what he is now, a guy that this team needs to rely on him staying on the court for more than 5 minutes.
A double double no matter how he gets it is an improvement. Throw in the fact he was playing against a very agile, veteran player in Ndour. That kid was active and moving all over the place. Amir was bigger but he couldn't stay in front of that Bobcat player. When this team plays more "big center" teams, I think we will see more of what Amir has developed, hopefully its as nice as a double double like last night.
Ross did seem to struggle more than I expected too. I couldn't help but think this team looked better with Marc Loving at the 4 than Ross. And Amadeo is far from a polished player but he had some really good energy out there that was nice to see.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

whobdis's picture

I think your exactly right...Williams was not the issue last night. He played with some good effort for the most part. He's hold on to the ball which seems to be a problem with him. He's never gonig to be great..but get some putbacks, rebounds and decent D. Ross on the other had is terrible on D..he let people by him several times. He's very flat footed at times and slow to adjust. There was a point in the 2nd half that Ross was yanked and Loving inserted. At least he shows the effort.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Brady Hoke's space-time continuum just exploded.

The NCAA is going to have to ease up on that handcheck crackdown or games are going to be 5 hours long.

We are SOFT in the middle...

northwest_buckeye's picture

Is "space-time continuum" Michibilly slang for "powdered donut in his right hand?"

I've never said I 'hate' anyone because that would imply I had any emotion for them whatsoever.

TheShookster's picture

15000 shots a week this summer huh...
Frustrating game to watch, but it was a win and that's all that matters. And I just kind of realized that maybe we never got into a rhythm offensively because there were so many fouls called. I'm going to blame that on the horrible shooting until I see another game or two. They will adjust and improve (right?)

He ain't even stretch doe!!

Seattle Linga's picture

You beat me to that point Shookster - I was waiting for the offensive game flow to take place. Saturday's going to have to be different if we want to take it to Marquette.  

Deadly Nuts's picture

Look at the bright side...
Every team in the B1G is undefeated. Only conference that can say that.


cronimi's picture

Yeah, but who'd they play? Weak SOS, dude. S-E-C!! S-E-C!!
Oops, sorry, I thought this was a football thread. Carry on....

Chris Lauderback's picture

I think it's important to keep in mind that Ohio State looked very good in the 1st half on the way to building a 12-point lead. The offensive ball movement was good and though they did have trouble slowing down Taylor, they were on the way to giving up less than 60 points. 

The 2nd half was definitely a dud but there was zero flow thanks to all those whistles. Yes, the players need to adjust to the new wack-ass officiating supposedly geared toward creating more offense but absent that, there were positives to take from this game. Four guys went for double figures, they shot a decent 75% from the stripe, , they turned it over only 9 times, and the D was good enough to allow just 6 assists on 24 made field goals and they defended the three pretty well which has been an achilles heel at times in the past. Plus Amir was active on the glass, Loving confidently stroked a J when the game was still somewhat in doubt, Thompson seems to be flourishing (I know, just 2 games) as the 6th man...

I don't mean to sound like a homer but this is a good start. 

BuddhaBuck's picture

Too. Many. Whistles. 
Who has the stats on how many fouls were called last night in all of NCAAM? 

Don't text while driving.

Chris Lauderback's picture

I don't know the answer to your question but I do know this...

Last year, in 37 games, Ohio State averaged 19.7 Free Throw Attempts per game. This year, through 2 games, OSU has averaged 36.5 FTA per game.



joeorozco12's picture

I'm confused—did we win??

BeijingBucks's picture

Refs won. Made their points clear
i was worried the new 'freedom of movement' rule would foul out craft. But apparently they didn't mean 'wear looser shorts' and he was ok

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

AJBor41's picture

Saturday will be a great test for this defense, though I'm sure their score was a bit lopsided since Grambling players had to walk from Louisiana to Wisconsin for the game.  Too soon?

RBuck's picture

If that's the way the games are called all season, it's going to be tough to watch.

Long live the southend.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

On a lighter note, I was just pumped to sit on my couch and enjoy some Buckeye hoops.  Seeing the team on the court again made my night. 
Craft's last year gents, enjoy it while it lasts! 

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

BuckeyesBaby04's picture

I was just happy to watch some Buckeye hoops!!! :)

The best damn fans in the land!

Buckeye1004's picture

I sure hope we play better on Saturday!   But, I'm a believer.  Go Buckeyes!

throttlefinger's picture

When is 11W's basketball schedule going to include this season?

mtgerken's picture

I think it is night and day for Shannon Scott, by the second half of the season he will become one of our leading scorers. There was also major improvement in Amir Williams who played the most aggressive game I think I have ever seen him play. Lastly, it is great to see another kid from my hometown at the Schott, and boy did he look good. Marc Loving is going make a big impact off the bench this season!

"Because I couldn't go for three!"