The Buckeyes took on their next opponent in the Gotham Classic this evening, the surprisingly dangerous North Dakota State Bison. Coming off a win at Notre Dame, the Bison were hoping to pick up another high quality win against the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes, however, weren’t having any of that, picking up a dominating 79-62 win. Four Buckeyes ended up in double figures: LaQuinton Ross with 18, Lenzelle Smith Jr. with 18, and Sam Thompson and Marc Loving off the bench with 12 a piece. NDSU responded with 21 from Taylor Braun, 12 from Marshall Bjorklund, and 10 from Lawrence Alexander.
The game began with both sides trying to show off their long range sniping game. Lenzelle Smith starting things off by sinking the first three of the game, eventually following it up with a second after a third by Laquinton Ross. NDSU struggled to maintain control of the rock inside the paint, committing several costly traveling fouls. They then responded by shooting from deep, picking up a single triple to get on the board three minutes after the start of the game.
The OSU shooting started from range due to the NDSU defensive strategy. The Bison used a 2-3 zone, or an usual looking box-and-1, to try to keep the Buckeyes from utilizing Amir Williams inside. After getting killed from long range through the first four minutes, they quickly shifted to a help-side man defense look. The change allowed them to continue to suppress Amir Williams inside, but kept OSU from getting the easy open outside looks.
The pace began to pick up as the Buckeyes defense started to kick up the intensity. For a short period, OSU looked like they were going to run away with the game, scoring another Slam Thompson entry pass ally-oop, and a sweet Lenzelle Smith fast break layup assisted by Aaron Craft. However, NDSU rose to the challenge and sank a three to cut the lead to five. The Bison cranked up their own defensive energy to counter the Buckeyes and began to force a few turnovers from the typically stingy OSU guards.
Thad Matta chose to operate with a linechange coming out of the after-12 timeout. Running with Scott, Della Valle, Thompson, Loving, and McDonald, the Buckeyes continued to maintain the intensity, but struggled to find scoring. Defense with that lineup seemed to struggle a little as well, but was by no mean poor. During the run, NDSU attempted to regain control of the pace of the game, a task in which they eventually succeeded. Rather than rushing their offense, they paced themselves and took what was available.
The Bison of NDSU are in Columbus to take on the Buckeyes on the hardwood this evening. This is a continuation of the Gotham Classic that began with the game against Bryant.
The game is set to tip at 8:15 PM Eastern on the Big Ten Network. We’ll start the festivities here at around 7:45 PM.
The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0) continue action in the Gotham Classic on Saturday evening by hosting the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Bison, winners 73-69 over Notre Dame on Wednesday. North Dakota State enters Saturday’s contest with a record of 7-3 and sporting a 5 game winning streak. After this game, Ohio State will host Delaware on December 18th, then go to NYC to face Notre Dame for an evening game on Saturday, December 21st.
Here’s their Profile -
School: North Dakota State University
Location: Fargo, ND
Student Population: 12,332
School Type: Public, coed
Conference: Summit League
Arena: Chace Bison Sports Arena
Head Coach: Saul Phillips