It was a grind game off a holiday break, but the Buckeyes got it done. Ohio State defeated the Miami (OH) Redhawks in a tougher than anticipated matchup Saturday afternoon at Value City Arena, 72-59.
It wasn't easy early. The Buckeyes started just 3-16 from the floor in the first 11:27 for the first half.
As the first half wore on, they started to heat up a little bit, shooting 7-of-10 the rest of the half as both teams started to settle in. C.J Jackson and Keita Bates-Diop led the way in scoring for the Buckeyes with eight points apiece. Kaleb Wesson chipped in with seven points and four rebounds as well.
The Buckeyes were able to get their biggest lead of the half of 19-11 at 8:19, but that was quickly answered by an 8-2 run two threes and a lay-in for the Red Hawks to bring it to 21-19. The rest of the half saw things go back-and-forth for the most part, as Ohio State would outscore Miami the rest of the way 14-9.
Though Miami would hang around during the early portion of the second half, Ohio State got into a groove that would provide the difference the rest of the way. A 12-2 run at 18:40 gave them the biggest lead of the afternoon at that point with a 49-32 advantage, though Miami would answer.
The Redhawks went on their own run, going 13-1 to make cut Ohio State's lead to five at 10:07, resonating with the theme of the afternoon of neither team being able to decisively either hold a lead or get over the hump.
Overall, the Redhawks didn't shoot well (22-60), but the shots they made were crucial to keeping the game relatively close.
After struggling to get good looks early, Ohio State salvaged the shooting effort, going 23-55 (41.8%) and shooting 8-20 from three.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||MIAMI (OH)|
|23-55 (41.8%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||22-60 (36.7%)|
|12-20 (40.0%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||9-33 (27.3%)|
|18-23 (78.3%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||6-7 (85.7%)|
Keita Bates-Diop was big down the stretch of the second half for the Buckeyes. He finished with 19 points on 6-17 shooting and nine rebounds. 11 of those points came in the second half.
Bates-Diop was one of four Buckeyes in double figures on the afternoon.
C.J. Jackson also chipped in with 16 points, five rebounds and 6 assists, with one of those being a key dish to Kam Williams for a corner three at 4:33 to stretch the lead back to nine. Williams had his best game of the year, shooting 5-8 from three point range for 15 points.
Finally, Jae'Sean Tate finished with 11, highlighted by this baseline drive and jam to put Ohio State up by 13 at 69-56.
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) December 30, 2017
Miami was lead by Bam Bowman in the loss with 15 points and four rebounds.
Ohio State will have a little break in the schedule before getting back at it. They resume Big Ten play in the new year with a tough road game Thursday Jan. 4 at Iowa at 7 p.m.