One night after suffering an ugly 27-point loss to Gonzaga, Ohio State got back into the win column on Friday night.
The Buckeyes overcame a slow start to defeat Stanford, 79-71, in the second round of the PK80 Invitational in Portland, Ore., thanks largely to the play of redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop.
Trailing 31-21 with 2:51 to play in the first half, Bates-Diop helped will Ohio State back. After scoring just seven points in a 86-59 loss to Gonzaga, Bates-Diop scored nine of an 11-1 run for the Buckeyes to close the first half, all nine points coming from behind the arc. He converted on all four of his three-point attempts in the first half and finished with 18 points. He also collected 11 rebounds to finish with his fourth double-double in six games.
The Buckeyes opened the second half on a 16-6 run to take a 10-point lead, their largest of the game. Where Bates-Diop sparked Ohio State in the first half, it was Jae'Sean Tate and C.J. Jackson leading the charge for OSU in the second. Tate dropped in 10 of his 14 in the final 20 minutes, adding 10 rebounds. Jackson showed his range from behind the three-point arc against the Cardinal, connecting on 4-of-6 attempts from deep to help Ohio State pull away. The point guard finished with a career-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
|25-61 (41.0%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||22-61 (36.1%)|
|9-21 (42.9%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||6-21 (28.6%)|
|20-25 (80.0%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||21-30 (70.0%)|
Both teams struggled to find offense out of the gate, as the teams combined for 24 points in the first 11 minutes of the game. Stanford turned the ball over nine times in the opening frame, but also got to the free throw line nine times as Ohio State committed 11 personal fouls in the opening 20 minutes.
Starting his second consecutive game, freshman forward Kaleb Wesson got into early foul trouble for Ohio State, picking up three before halftime. Micah Potter, who sat out the Buckeyes' loss to Gonzaga on Thanksgiving night due to an ankle injury, played sparingly off the bench against the Cardinal. He finished with two points, as Wesson earned the bulk of the minutes in the post. Wesson collected 10 points and corralled three boards before fouling out with 1:54 to play.
With the win, Ohio State is set to take on Holtmann's old team in its final game of the PK80. The Buckeyes are scheduled to face Butler at 3 p.m. Sunday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.