Basketball is back – sort of.
Less than a week from opening the season against the Bearcats in Cincinnati, Ohio State took care of business. The Buckeyes beat UNC Pembroke, 81-63, in their only exhibition of the season Thursday night at the Schottenstein Center.
They jumped out to a 13-2 lead and continued to extend it the remainder of the game. Once the 10-minute mark hit, Ohio State never again had a lead of fewer than 10 points.
Micah Potter began a strong effort in the paint by finishing four and-one opportunities, including a dunk through contact. He had a team-high 13 points, making 4-of-4 shots, with six rebounds. He also blocked a dunk. Kaleb Wesson secured a double-double early in the second half. He had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Buckeyes held a 56-35 rebounding advantage and grabbed 21 offensive boards. They added 21 points on second-chance opportunities.
Defensively, Ohio State held UNC Pembroke to just 33 percent shooting. The Braves hit 7-of-20 3-pointers, while the Buckeyes struggled from deep, making 5 of 25.
Both Kyle Young and Luther Muhammad flashed their athleticism as new starters for the Buckeyes. Muhammad is a freshman and Young played behind Keita Bates-Diop last year, so neither have much experience at the collegiate level. Muhammad had nine points and a team-high three assists, while Young added nine points and three rebounds. Young completed an and-one dunk through contact early in the second half.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||UNC PEMBROKE|
|27-61 (44%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||22-67 (33%)|
|5-25 (20%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-20 (35%)|
|22-32 (69%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||12-20 (60%)|
While the Buckeyes cruised to a win, they had their fair share of troubles controlling the ball. They had 21 turnovers, including nine in the first half. Musa Jallow turned the ball over five times and starting point guard C.J. Jackson had two turnovers. Jackson had eight points, going 3 for 10 from the field.
Freshman guard Duane Washington Jr. hit 2-of-8 shots for five points. Fellow freshmen Justin Ahrens and Jaedon LeDee each scored in their first game in front of a home crowd.
Kaleb Wesson, Jackson, Andre Wesson, Young and Muhammad filled out Ohio State's starting lineup.
Prior to the game beginning, Ohio State recognized former head coach Eldon Miller. He is a volunteer assistant coach for UNC Pembroke, which is coached by his son, Ben Miller.
Ohio State's season-opening game against Cincinnati will tip off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Fifth Third Arena.