In the “final” game in the Gotham Classic, before actually moving on to Gotham City, Ohio State hosted the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens, and were admittedly, not very good hosts. The Buckeyes were initially polite enough, trailing Delaware through the first 7 minutes of the game 11-12. The teams genteelly exchanges baskets for the next 10 minutes with OSU holding a 28-26 lead with 3:15 left in the 1st half. At that point, the uncouth midwesterners tore off nine straight points to go into the half with a 37-26 lead.
LaQuinton Ross got things going immediately in the 2nd half with a 3-pointer and things went back and forth for the first 4+ minutes as OSu maintained a 45-32 lead. A Kyle Anderson 3-pointer pulled the Fightin’ Blue Hens (FBH) to within 10, 50-40 with 13:19 left on the clock. Of course, LQR answered with a jumper, followed by an Amedeo Della Valle 3-pointer. After trading baskets a Marc Loving jumper and another ADV 3-pointer had the game at 60-44.
At the nine-minute mark, OSU was “holding” on 62-50 as Delaware kept chipping into the lead. For the next two minutes, both teams flat-lined, almost as is to save energy for a late push to either seal the game or to steal the game. Finally, at the 1:22 mark, Lenzelle Smith Jr., made a jumper to cash in free fries to push OSU’s lead to 10, 70-60. At the :44 mark Jarvis Threatt’s layup pulled the FBH’s to with 10, 72-62. Clearly, it was too little way too late; but to Delaware’s credit they kept coming after the Buckeyes. Another Threatt layup with :32 remaining got the Hens to 64, but Buckeye free throw shooting, capped off by two from Aaron Craft provided the final score of 76-64.
This was an exciting game, perhaps more exciting than it needed to be. The Buckeyes only shot 41% from the floor (24-59) and an excruciating 69% (22-32) from the free throw line. Fortunately, Delaware shot even worse; 43% from the field an 47% from the charity stripe. Yikes. Part of Delaware’s shooting woes were, obviously, OSU’s defense, as the Buckeyes blocked 7 Blue Hen shots.The Buckeyes out rebounded the Hens 46-30, so that helped.
Ohio State placed five players in double figures; LaQuinton Ross with 19, Lenzelle Smith with 14, Aaron Craft with 12, Amir Williams with 11 and ADV with 10. It should be noted that Amir pulled off the double-double by snagging 12 rebounds. Although Sam Thompson only scored 3 points, he did grab 6 rebounds.
For the Hens, As guessed, Devon Saddler led the way with 17 points, closely followed by Jarvis Threatt with 14 points, the only two Hens in double figures. Threatt did accomplish his own double-double by getting 10 rebounds.
Next up for the Buckeyes; a Saturday evening game against Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is 7:30 PM on ESPN2. Oh, you can stop in here for more livechat.