Red Hot Buckeyes Ground Ospreys

By Chris Lauderback on November 29, 2013 at 6:15p

Looking like a more focused team than what we saw on Monday in a sluggish win over Wyoming, Ohio State unleashed an early 19-0 blitzkrieg and coasted to an 99-64 win over North Florida tonight in the Schott.

The Buckeyes placed five guys in double figures led by 18 from Amir Williams on 8/11 from the floor. The big man has looked like a different player in the early going as he also tallied seven boards and three blocks.

LaQuinton Ross, mired in a 5/20 shooting slump over the last four outings, blew up for 17 points on 6/9 from the floor including 4/7 from distance to go along with eight rebounds.

Aaron Craft was also on fire, hitting 7/8 shots for 16 points with five dimes while Lenzelle Smith Jr. did a little bit of everything with 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Off the bench, Amedeo Della Valle scored just three points in the opening half, going 1/3 from deep, but blew up in the 2nd hitting 4/5 from beyond the arc to finish with 17 points. 

Meanwhile, the defense held the Ospreys to 39% from the floor with 18 turnovers.

For the game, Ohio State shot a ridiculous 69% from the field and 61% from deep (14/23), assisting on 20 of 36 made field goals.

Trailing 6-5 in the early going, the Buckeyes drained eight of nine shots from the floor, triggering the 19-0 spurt to take a commanding 24-6 lead with 11:59 left in the half.

Thad Matta then removed three starters and the Ospreys responded with a 14-4 run of their own but Ohio State then closed the half on a modest 20-9 burst to go in front 48-29 at the break.

The starters combined to hit 16 of 19 shots in the opening 20 minutes. Ross was 4/4, Scott 3/3, Smith Jr. 2/2, Craft 4/5 and Amir 3/5. Smith Jr. had the all-around game going with seven points, six boards and five dimes.

Ohio State shot a scorching 70% from the floor in the 1st half, assisting on 12 of 19 field goals. Meanwhile, the Buckeye defense forced 12 turnovers and 37% shooting out of the Ospreys.

The 2nd half was more of the same as OSU opened with a 14-2 blitz to go in front 62-31 with just under 15 minutes left in the laugher. Williams and Ross sparked things with a combined nine points while the Ospreys missed five of their first six shots with four turnovers.

Marc Loving quietly added seven points and three boards and loudly announced himself with a vicious one-handed stuff thanks to great body control to avoid the charge. I know ADV went off today but I continue to believe Loving is the guy that evolve into Matta's 2nd wing off the bench behind Sam Thompson. 

The win improves Ohio State to 6-0 on the season. Next up for the Buckeyes, a Wednesday night matchup with Maryland as part of the ACC/B1G Challenge. 


Comments Show All Comments

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Holy crap, Q Ross and Della Valle were channeling Jon Diebler!  Amir ... I've been hard on him the past couple of seasons ... I am happy to eat humble pie and hope he can keep up his beast mode of the past few games.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Same here.  Dude has put in some work.  Beast Mode: ON

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

bucksfan92's picture

I agree with your comments on Amir, but he still isn't as consistently aggressive as I'd like him to be.  Maybe once B1G play gets here he will show that fire more often.

Seattle Linga's picture

The team finally played the way we thought they would have all season - nice game tonight boys! Congrats on the effort!

OvalBeachBum's picture

IT is extremely refreshing to see the offense clicking on all cylinders.  The offense just seemed very very sluggish up until this point.  Granted, this was North Florida, but its refreshing none the less.

"Well, thats just like, your opinion, man."  -The Dude

HYDEYOKIDS's picture

Love me some Loving. He already has the natural instincts on the offensive glass. He just needs more experience to get a better sense of touch and how to assert himself more on the floor. If he continues his development he could be quite dangerous come tournament time.

alust2013's picture

Hopefully this game gave them some confidence and will let them play well like this in the future. If Amir can keep this scoring business up, it looks like we won't need Q to average 18 a game, given that we got maybe 3-4 points per game from the center spot last year. 

...and Michigan still sucks.

bucksfan92's picture

I kind of expected this might be "explosion" game that we've been waiting for.  Unlike most of our previous opponents this team doesn't play the "keep away" slow down crap style, and when the Buckeyes are free to run - well you better have backup scoreboard lights ready.  It was really good to see the balance on offense, I was really hoping Scott and Loving would each get 1 more bucket so that we could have 7 guys in double figures, but the team did an excellent job last night of finding the open man,
I am rapidly becoming a HUGE fan of Mark Loving - he looks like he is going to be one of those all time great players - he has great awareness to go along with his talent.  That dunk he had late in the first half where he was going full steam, avoided contact, contorted his body in mid air, and slammed the ball through the hoop - WOW not many players can make that play.