Looking to pass their first road test of the young season, Ohio State leaned on a paralyzing defense to throttle #17 Marquette, 52-35, this afternoon in the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The victory ended Marquette's 27-game home winning streak.
Tied at 19 to start the 2nd half, Ohio State unleashed a 21-7 run over a 12 minute stretch to take a commanding 40-26 lead at the under-8 television timeout.
Shannon Scott was at the center of the action as he totaled a team leading 13 points and five steals, teaming with Aaron Craft to frustrate the Golden Eagles' backcourt.
Craft flirted with a triple-double popping 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds and Amir Williams chipped in five blocks.
The Buckeye defense held Marquette to an incredible 19% shooting from the floor including 1/18 from downtown. At the half, the Golden Eagles starters totaled just four points, finishing with just 12 points over the full 40 minutes. The lockdown defense helped the Buckeyes post a 16-0 lead in fastbreak points including a key 12-0 edge in the decisive final 20 minutes.
Ohio State had offensive troubles of its own, shooting just 27% in the opening half but connected on 58% in the 2nd half, outscoring Marquette 33-16. Of chief concern for Thad Matta's offense is the lack of production from LaQuinton Ross. The kid failed to score a point today on 0/6 from the floor and looked to annoy Craft with his lack of intensity on a few occasions. The Buckeyes hit on just 5/15 from the stripe.
Scott played just seven minutes in the 1st half due to foul trouble and when inserted back into the lineup to start the 2nd half, Ohio State looked like a different team. That said, Scott, despite the 13 points, still leaned to heavily on his jumper, taking five of his 12 shots from beyond the arc, missing all of them.
Sam Thompson was also key during the 2nd half blitz, totaling 13 points and eight rebounds on the afternoon.
The win improves the Buckeyes to 3-0 on the season.