Ross Leads Buckeyes Past Blue Hens

By Kyle Rowland on December 18, 2013 at 8:56p

The offense had to cool off at some point for Ohio State. After five consecutive games of shooting above 50 percent, the Buckeyes’ found the rims unkind as the temperatures dipped into the teens outside Value City Arena.

The unheralded Delaware Blue Hens led midway though the first half as Ohio State misfired on six of its first seven field goal attempts. It wasn’t until the Buckeyes used a 15-0 run to take command early in the second half that they put separation on the scoreboard.

Ohio State relied on its patented stingy defense – ranked third nationally – to stifle Delaware. The Blue Hens entered the game averaging 83 points per game and left well under that benchmark in a 76-64 defeat. They shot 43 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and only 46.7 percent from the free throw line.

The Buckeyes had five players in double figures with LaQuinton Ross leading the charge with 19 points. He connected on 8 of 13 shots from the field, including both 3s. Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored 14, Aaron Craft 12, Amir Williams 11 and Amedeo Della Valle 10. Williams added 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Ohio State shot 42.3 percent from the field. 

“Sometimes you have some games where things aren’t clicking the way you want them to. However, the difference between good teams and great teams is great teams figure it out and win,” head coach Thad Matta said.

The first half represented one of the poorest offensive stretches of the season for the Buckeyes. Ohio State scored the final 12 points of the half to build a 37-26 lead at the break. Ross scored eight points during the spurt. The Buckeyes were aided by a technical on the Delaware bench, which seemed to add to Ohio State’s momentum and zap the energy out of the Blue Hens. Craft made both free throws. 

Neither team played particular well in the first half. The Buckeyes shot just 39 percent from the field, but it looked much prettier than Delaware’s 33 percent performance that included eight turnovers.

“We did some things today that are uncharacteristic of us as a team, like being 7-for-15 at the free throw line,” Delaware head coach Monte Ross said. “Overall, it was a terrific environment for college basketball today. These guys [Ohio State] are obviously used to playing in an atmosphere like this, but our guys didn’t shrink from the moment or the atmosphere."

Ohio State led by as many as 16 points in the second half and never by fewer than eight. All 11 wins this season for the third-ranked Buckeyes have come by double digits. The next test comes Saturday against Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden.


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slippy's picture

So I didn't get to watch any - did we really end up with only 7 assist on 24 made baskets?  What's up with that?

Toilrt Paper's picture

Craft in foul trouble.

Seattle Linga's picture

He just couldn't be as aggressive.

Zimmy07's picture

They played zone for a bit.  To me it looked as if quite a few passes to Amir were bad passes and ended up as turnovers.
They made us drive to the basket a lot more than dish and shoot.
This is one game where I was kind of worried about the outcome late into the game.  Delaware looked as if they were not a bad team.  I hope.

otrain2416's picture

Not to be a debbie downer but I don't believe were the number two team in the country at this point in the game. 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Killer nuts's picture

Fortunately, our ranking in December is meaningless anyway. Just gotta keep getting better and hope that winning coincides with that

skid21's picture

So who would you put at number 2 at this time? I can't think of another team who I'd put above us at this time unless you want to judge based on preseason ratings, hyped freshmen or schedule. At least IMO no one has proven anything yet, including the Buckeyes but the we have won every game and are the top ranked defense. I don't really care about rankings at this time as it is a long season but I can't argue with us in the top 3 right now.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Wisconsin. They look to be the best team Bo Ryan has ever had.

UrbanPirate's picture

At least it's another double digit win :-/

Just... Go Bucks.


bdegroff's picture

I'm not overly concerned about a lackluster performance this early in the season. It is hard to keep 18 - 20 year old kids full attention 100% of the time. Matta will have them ready for Notre Dame. I'm sure attention to detail and effort will increase, especially since they're playing at MSG!
Christmas is a week away and I'm sure kids are looking forward to family time. And no, the Bucks may not be the number 2 team in the country. However, its December... Who cares!

ATXbucknut's picture

I agree. It is near impossible to maintain the intensity with which this team has played the past 5-6 games.  The past 3 or 4 games they have definitely looked like a top 10 team.
They played well enough to win by double digits and *still* held Delaware to 20 points below its season scoring average.
The Bucks just needed a little Lorbach tonight.

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Any other NYCBuckeyes going to the game? Where is the pregame throwdown at?

BrooklynBuckeye's picture

I'll be there, but not sure I can pregame. My wife finds my fanaticism slightly unnerving. If people chime in and meet up somewhere tho, I'll see if I can make it look like a coincidence...

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Just got back from the game.  First half of the first half was almost comical, the ball just wouldn't go in.  Craft had an off game, couple of quick dumb fouls and a really bad walk when the bucks had a five on four opportunity, but he did make a couple of strong moves to the basket.  Della Valle played for extended minutes, he's coming along.  Smith was solid and Ross was really active in the paint and made some SICK moves down low, as well as a great block near the end of the game.  Was surprised Amir got a double double, didn't seem like it, a couple of quick fouls kept him on the bench the second part of the first half.  All-in-all a lackluster effort by the bucks, but a win is a win.  Got to spend some quality time with my daughter center court down near the floor, that was quite a treat (although my bank account a little lighter LOL).

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

MassiveAttack's picture

I thought Shannon Scott played poorly as well, worse than Craft.  At least Aaron had some nice dribble drives with finishes, though he missed at least two layups in minimal traffic.  Shannon turned the ball over multiple times, missed several shots, didn't deliver open look passes, got beat on defense at least 3 times, and made 2 stupid fouls with less than 5 seconds on the shot clock.
Oh well, everyone has an off game.  Good luck at MSG!

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

gravey's picture

They really let off the gas in the waning minutes, giving up about 10 points in layups....they answered all of them, but it seemed like they were thinking about NYC already.

CALPOPPY's picture

Dang, my alma mater really gave my alma mater a rough game.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Matta called his team "great". Very unusual at this point in the season.

Seattle Linga's picture

Agreed - kinda unique

MassiveAttack's picture

Anyone know why the technical foul was called on the Blue Hens coach?  They didn't explain it on TV.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

tennbuckeye19's picture

I don't know for certain because as you said, they didn't explain it on TV, but it must've been that he was arguing/yelling at a ref about a foul (or fouls). When the 1st half ended, the camera did show that as he was walking to the locker room he approached a ref and was heatedly jawing with him and some of his assistants got in the middle of it to end the conversation.

Zimmy07's picture

That was bizarre.  It must have been something that happened when they had the ball because I didn't see anything he could have been mad about between our inbound and time out.
I just looked at the play by play and think he might have been mad about the charge call -  I couldn't see how it couldn't have been called a charge their guy went right through Loving (hell of a play by him to make up for the kind of boneheaded pass that got stolen right under our basket).   They were down by 9 points when that happened.