Appalachian State is synonymous with Big Ten sports forever after its upset of Michigan on the gridiron in 2005, but the Mountaineer basketball team failed to pull off a similar upset on Saturday night on the hardwood.
Ohio State defeated the Mountaineers, 80-67, on Saturday at Value City Arena, giving the Buckeyes their fourth win in a row and improving their record to 9-3 on the season.
Per usual, the Buckeyes were led by redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, who poured in 18 points and added eight boards in the victory. Bates-Diop also played well defensively, swatting three Mountaineer shots while also collecting four steals.
Bates-Diop provided a pair of highlight-reel plays, both of which started on the defensive end. With just more than five minutes remaining in the first half and Ohio State leading 25-17, Bates-Diop blocked a shot on one end, collected the loose ball and went coast to coast for a contested lay-up. That play gave Ohio State a 10-point lead, which ballooned to 13 by halftime.
@KBD_33 does it all.
The B1G Player of the Week goes Coast2Coast
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) December 16, 2017
The first half was capped by a 6-0 run by the Buckeyes, which was again started by Bates-Diop who dove on the floor for a loose ball. Bates-Diop found Andrew Dakich who spun off a defender and delivered a pass to Jae'Sean Tate, who finished with a thunderous two-handed slam that brought the crowd to its feet.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||APPALACHIAN STATE|
|30-57 (52.6%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||25-53 (47.2%)|
|3-14 (21.4%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||3-19 (15.8%)|
|17-23 (73.9%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||14-20 (70.0%)|
The second half saw Ohio State extend its lead to 17 following another Bates-Diop layup, before one of the more bizarre scenarios played out prior to a pair of Appalachian State free throws.
Following a foul on Ohio State point guard C.J. Jackson with 17:47 to play in the second half, loud alarms sounded throughout Value City Arena, accompanied by a voice telling those in attendance to evacuate the building.
"Tonight’s event was interrupted by a failure on an exhaust fan," Value City Arena staff said in a statement. "The fan shut off and allowed the smoke from a concession stand to enter the fresh air return on one of our air handlers and activated one of our smoke detectors.
"The building systems worked as they were designed and we were able to reset the alarm, repair the exhaust and return to normal operations."
After a delay that lasted approximately 10 to 15 minutes, fans were allowed to re-enter the venue and action resumed on the court.
Appalachian State cut Ohio State's second-half lead to nine on a pair of occasions following the delay, but the Mountaineers would fail to get any closer, as the Buckeyes dominated the paint for the final 20 minutes of action. Led by Kaleb Wesson and Tate, Ohio State scored 28 of its second-half points in the painted area. Wesson finished with 16 points and collected a career-high eight boards, while Tate finished with 19 points to lead all scorers.
For the first time since a Dec. 2 win over Wisconsin, the Buckeyes were with their full contingent of rotation players, as both Micah Potter and Kyle Young earned playing time in the win. Potter played just one minute in the first half, however, before being replaced by Bates-Diop, and did not return to action. Young gave Ohio State two points in 14 minutes of play.
Next up for Ohio State is a tilt against The Citadel at Value City Arena at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night.