Sorry for running late with this recap. I gad some technical difficulties last night.
As expected, Thad’s Buckeyes provided the afternoon appetizer as a prelude to the main course this evening. The Buckeyes, as expected, beat the outmatched Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Blue Devils 76-54. The 5th ranked Buckeyes had little trouble moving to 8-0 this afternoon, with an all around solid performance, led by a career high 23 points by LaQuinton Ross.
In the 1st four minutes OSU jumped out to a 13-2 lead, driven by 5 points by LQT and 4 points by Amir. But, as we’ve seen with the football team, fast starts often precede a flattening and at the 10:22 mark OSU’s lead was 22-10. Not expanding the lead, but merely holding serve during the 6 minute interim.
At just under the 8 minute mark a jumper by Shannon Scott put the score at 26-17, somewhat reversing a “cooling off” of OSU’s shooting, which at this point was ‘down’ to 52&. Which gives you some idea how well the Buckeyes had started the game. Also, at this point, both teams were doing much better with interior shooting, as they’d combined for 2-11 from 3-point range. Not good.
The Buckeye malaise continued for the next four minutes as CCSU pulled to within 23-28 on a layup by Khalen Cumberlander. At the 3:37 mark, a 3-pointer by Lenzelle moved the margin up a bit, the the teams traded turnovers to slow things down. At a little over two minutes left, LQR reasserted himself wit a basket +1 to move score to 36-23. However, the Blue Devils surged a bit at the end of the half, capped by a layup by Kyle Vinales to pull CCSU to within 38-29 at the half.
The half ended with OSU cooling down to shooting 48.3% (14-29) from the field, while CCSU heated up to 52% (13-25). Thankfully, Ohio State only turned the ball over 5 times, while the Blue Devils turned it over 12 times. The Buckeyes started out very well, then really, really leveled off.
The 2nd half was much of the same, which was fortunate since OSU held the halftime lead. The team traded baskets for the first 7 minutes of the half, with OSU holding a 51-41 lead at that point. Then OSU started to pull away a bit to hit the final margin of 18 points. In addition to LQR’s 23 points (9-13 shooting) and 6 rebounds, Lenzelle Smith, Jr contributes 17 points (6-12 shooting) and Amir Williams with 11 points (5-7 shooting). Although Aaron Craft had only 7 points, he provided 4 assists and 4 rebounds. As a team, OSU shot 53% from the field, but only 24% from 3-point range.
CCSU was led by Faronte Drakeford (12 points, 5 rebounds) and Matt Mobley (10 points). Although assists were about even, 10 for OSU and 9 for CCSU, the Buckeyes did a much better job protecting the ball. The committed 11 turnovers while CCSU turned the ball over 20 times.
Ohio State’s next game is Wednesday, December 1th at 7:30 PM as they host the Bryant University Bulldogs in the opening round of the Gotham Classic. The game will be televised on BTN.