The Buckeyes used great ball movement, forced turnovers and drained a three point shot early to take home a 86-48 win over Bryant University Wednesday night. Despite a slow start on both sides of the floor, Ohio State settled in midway through the first half to dominate one of the newer teams in Division 1 basketball. And they did it early and often by using excellent ball reversal and draining the wide open three. Combined with a stellar defensive effort swiping and blocking the basketball.
All it took was seven minutes of play to warm up to the system that Thad Matta loves to run. Using pressure d to create steals and turnovers, and set up open shots. After feeling out their opponent, the Bucks nailed four of their first five three point attempts. Lenzelle Smith, who played one of the best games of his career shooting wise — kept OSU afloat early, scoring seven points int the first seven minutes of the ballgame. It was his wide open three with thirteen minutes to go that opened the floodgates. On the following Buckeye possession, the ball got rolling when big man Trey McDonald backed down his defender on the right low block and found teammate LaQuinton Ross wide open at the top of the key to make it 22-11 with 11:51 to go in the first half.
The Italian Stallion, Amedeo Della Valle would keep the run going with beautiful right wing triple the tickeled the twine just over halfway through the opening frame. The Big man Amir Williams followed up with a backdoor cut baseline jam that kept the lead at 10 or more for the rest of the ballgame.
At the end of the first half the Buckeyes had 8 assists on 15 made baskets and a 43-23 lead.
Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith hit back to back threes to start the second half, and give Ohio State the solid 51-27 lead.
Ohio State used 13 steals and 10 blocked shots to set up a proficient offense that shot 53% from the floor and held Bryant to 28% from the floor.
Post Game Bullets
- Today’s performance was a great night for the development of many players in the program, including the Amedeo Della Valle, who saw a ton of minutes in the second half and really started to show how comfortable he is in the system defensively. It won’t be long until he is filling more and more minutes in the backcourt.
- The development of Amir Williams has been very fun to watch since the start of the season. His vision has improved seven fold and he is finally getting a feel for his teammates and opponents on the floor. Now, once the rebounds start coming he will be a top B1G interior player. Williams finished with 6 blocks, 12 points, 9 boards and just 1 turnover. Trey McDonald also showed in the first half that he has the presence and body of work to be a good option off the bench. His development and acceptance of his role has and will be a great asset for this team.
- I don’t know how many times you can say it, but Aaron Craft is a one of a kind player from a dying breed of athlete. He didn’t do anything spectacular by his standards tonight, but the way he plays, makes his team better and has helped in many ways develop this back court.. We are lucky as OSU basketball fans to have been able to witness the last four seasons.
- Speaking of that back court, I’ve said all pre-season long that Lenzelle Smith Jr.’s play during his career here in Columbus has been severely under rated and that the guard brings a five skill set to the floor that will be detrimental to this team’s success. Tonight was just more proof — six rebounds, 6/8 shooting and 17 points later.
- Anybody who feared LaQuinton Ross not being the player he was last season has to be called out. He and Sam Thompson didn’t have a great game, but you could see he was getting into a rhythm through the offense at moments. It will all come together.
- Marc Loving is going to be fun to watch the next few years. The kid brings athleticism to the table with great fundamental basketball inside the post.
- The Lorbach Machine! – Jake Lorbach had a breakaway two handed dunk and fadeaway jumper from the wing to keep his teammates entertained and scored a career high six points. He added a late two handed window kissing layup