Jamison Battle Scores 21 Points As Ohio State Dominates Santa Clara, 86-56, to Win The 2023 Emerald Coast Classic

By Chase Brown on November 25, 2023 at 9:03 pm
Jamison Battle
Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

The Ohio State Buckeyes are the champions of the Emerald Coast Classic.

SANTA CLARA 26 30 56
OHIO STATE 34 52 86

After Ohio State defeated Western Michigan and No. 17 Alabama in the regular-season tournament on Sunday and Friday, the team secured their third win in six days, as Jamison Battle's 21 points powered the Buckeyes past Santa Clara, 86-56, on Saturday to win the Emerald Coast Classic.

Almost all of Battle's production came from behind the 3-point line, as the Minnesota transfer made 5-of-10 threes to pace the Buckeyes, who finished 10 of 24 from beyond the arc as a team. Behind Battle, Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle Jr. were two of Ohio State's next-best contributors, along with Zed Key and Dale Bonner.

While it wasn't the 52 combined points they scored against the Crimson Tide, Thornton and Gayle both hovered around double figures, with Thornton collecting 13 points with seven assists and Gayle adding eight points and four helpers. Key and Bonner inflicted most of their damage in the second half. The veteran forward made 5-of-6 attempts to finish with 10 points and five rebounds. The Baylor transfer guard added 10 points and two assists.

First Half

At the start of the game, Ohio State's offense found most of its offensive success from behind the 3-point line, as Jamison Battle converted on three triples and  Roddy Gayle Jr. and Dale Bonner each made one. With solid defensive effort, which resulted in three turnovers for the Broncos, the Buckeyes held a 24-11 advantage after 10 minutes of action.

Over the next six minutes, Ohio State went cold from the floor outside of another Battle 3-pointer  — his fourth of the contest – and a mid-range jumper from 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward. Bruce Thornton also added an impressive up-and-under layup and wreaked havoc as a defender, recording two steals. Still, Santa Clara cut into Ohio State's lead at the four-minute media timeout, generating points on four of six possessions to make it 30-22 at the break.

With 55 seconds left in the half and the Buckeyes leading the Broncos 32-26, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann called a 30-second timeout to organize the offense.

In the huddle, Holtmann designed a set piece for Thornton and Mahaffey that mirrored the old Aaron Craft and Sam "Slam" Thompson connection in the early 2010s. Thornton, who dribbled the ball near half-court, lobbed a pass over the top of Santa Clara's defense toward a leaping Mahaffey, who finished off an alley-oop bucket via an excellent screen from Felix Okpara.

Mahaffey's field goal would be the final points for either team in the first half, as Ohio State headed to the locker room up 34-26 on Santa Clara.

The Buckeyes connected on 12 of 30 shots (40%) in the opening 20 minutes, including 6 of 14 attempts (42.9%) from behind the 3-point line. The Broncos were held to 10-of-28 from the floor (35.7%) and 4-of-10 makes from deep. Ohio State also had an advantage from the free-throw line, converting on 4-of-5 attempts compared to Santa Clara's 2-of-3 mark.

Second Half

86 POINTS 56
33-63 (52.4%) FGM-FGA (PCT.) 21-55 (38.2%)
13-28 (46.4%) 3PM-3PA (PCT.) 6-20 (30%)
7-9 (77.8%) FTM-FTA (PCT.) 8-16 (50%)

After the intermission, Battle picked up where he left off, swishing a 3-pointer that opened up the scoring for both teams in the second half. Ohio State proceeded to score four times in five possessions, including a mid-range jumper from Gayle and two forceful dunks from Okapara. In that same stretch, Okapara used all of his 6-foot-11, 235-pound frame to record blocks that stifled two premium scoring opportunities for the Broncos. The Buckeyes entered the 16-minute media timeout with a 46-31 lead.

From there, Ohio State entered cruise control.

Over the next 10 minutes, the Buckeyes outscored the Broncos 21-13 and extended their lead to as much as 23 points, 67-44. Along with Battle, who sunk his eighth shot of the game at the six-minute mark, Zed Key added five field goals from inside the paint as Thornton, Scotty Middleton and Bonner all scored for Ohio State.

Then came the substitutes. As the clock approached 0:00, the talented freshman trio of Middleton, Devin Royal and Taison Chatman — who appeared in his second game for the Buckeyes after beginning the season on the mend — took the floor with Bonner and Okpara. Soon after, reserves Kalen Etzler, Bowen Hardman and freshman Austin Parks subbed in for Bonner, Okpara and Middleton, leaving in Royal and Chatman to wrap up the dominant win.

Ohio State finished the game 33-of-63 from the floor (52.4%), including a 13-of-28 mark (46.4%) from the 3-point line. The Buckeyes also made 7-of-9 free throws to round out their total of 86 points.

What's Next?

Ohio State returns to Columbus and Value City Arena on Wednesday to face Central Michigan. The game will start at 7 p.m. and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

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