The Winthrop Eagles arrived in Columbus ready to give the Buckeyes more than they wanted, and despite the 65-55 final score they certainly succeeded. The Eagles took advantage of a seriously hot-handed shooting night from beyond the arc, hitting 38.5% of their three point attempts to keep the game close most of the way through. DeShaun Thomas led all scorers with 21 points to go with his 9 rebounds. He was joined in double digits by Lenzelle Smith’s 14, and Derrick Henry’s 12.
The first half was easily described by the microcosm that was the last 10 seconds of the period. The Buckeyes put together a good play, got a wide open look for Thomas from long range. He missed it, which was quickly followed by a missed put-back by Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes for the half went 10-29 shooting, combined with a number of sloppy, unfocused plays that cost them possessions (but with limited actual turnovers). In response, Withrop sank a number of looks from outside, and took it to the Buckeyes inside to force OSU into 8 first half fouls – one of their highest totals of the season for a half.
Unfortunately, there was not a big change at the start of the second half. The Buckeyes struggled to get traction with their continued shooting slump, and Winthrop continued to rain in shots from long range. Eventually, DeShaun Thomas shook off his terrible 2-11 shooting start, hitting 5 straight buckets to give the Bucks some much needed momentum. It was enough to give the Bucks a temporary double digit lead, but Winthrop was not going to go away so easily.
Give Winthrop lots of credit. They are a pretty solid fundamental basketball team and simply forced the Buckeyes to play the Eagle’s game. In particular, they used good passing to put OSU’s defense on their heels, and used it to get good shots. They also took advantage of a hot shooting night from long range, far exceeding their usual 29% shooting percentage (they were hitting 50%, 9-18, mid-way through the 2nd period). They ultimately scored 30 of their points from long range – mostly on ugly shots that went in despite
Winthrop is playing through the state of Ohio this week. They started by securing a win over Ohio in Athens a few nights ago. Up next are the Buckeyes.
Joining us as usual are the other members of the Buckeye Blogger Network. Make sure to stop by their place and say, “hey”: Buckeye Ninja, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, Buckeye Empire, Silver Bullet, The Buckeye Blog, Unscripted Ohio, and Fox Sports Ohio.
The Liveblog will tip around 6:30 PM EST, with the Basketball game starting at 7:00 on the BTN.