Bucks Bounce Back, Defeat Stanford
Less than 24 hours after struggling through a beat down at the hands of Gonzaga, Ohio State rebounded to knock off Stanford in the consolation round of the PK80 Invitational in Portland, Oregon by a final score of 79-71. After getting off to a slow start, a run late in the first half and early in the 2nd propelled the Buckeyes to a solid victory. Down 10 with less than 3 minutes remaining in the first half, Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes on an 11-1 run to finish the half and tie the game. During the run, Bates-Diop drilled 3 big triples, part of his first half team high 12, to give the Buckeyes momentum heading to the locker room. Prior to that run, Ohio State had scored just 49 points in the previous 55:15 of game time dating back to midway through the first half of the Gonzaga game when they trailed 33-31. Although the offense struggled against the length of the Cardinal zone other than the late push, the Buckeyes were able to convert 9 Stanford turnovers into 12 points which enabled them to stay in the game. On the flip side, the Cardinal had 0 points off just 5 Buckeye turnovers in the first half.
The Buckeyes (5-1) carried the momentum into the second half where they were able to take control of the game and grab a lead they would never relinquish. During the first 6 minutes of the second half, Ohio State outscored Stanford 16-6, taking a 10-point lead and forcing Stanford to call a timeout with just under 14 minutes to play. C.J. Jackson and Jae’Sean Tate took over the game offensively in the 2nd 20 minutes. Tate scored 10 of his 14 and Jackson dropped in 16 of his game and career high 23 as the Buckeyes found a rhythm offensively. Ohio State began to get their offense going from the inside out, which created open looks on the perimeter for Jackson, and he converted, connecting on 4 of his 6 attempts from deep. With Tate penetrating and getting to the rim, it collapsed the defense and allowed some good looks, and to their credit, they took advantage. Both Bates-Diop and Tate finished with double-doubles, with Bates-Diop grabbing 11 boards and 18 points and Tate adding 10 rips to go along with the aforementioned 14 points. Kaleb Wesson added 10 big points while battling foul trouble all game long and ultimately fouling out.
Overall a solid win for the Buckeyes, who showed that not only could they bounce back from adversity in the loss to Gonzaga, but that they could find a way to grind out a win when things weren’t going their way offensively early. This team has a chance to compete on most nights when Bates-Diop is engaged offensively and looking to score and if Kaleb Wesson can understand how to play a little more in control and avoid silly fouls, he could be a big presence in the paint, which is something Ohio State hasn’t had since Jared Sullinger.
With the win, Ohio State will play its final game in the PK80 against Chris Holtmann’s former team in the Butler Bulldogs. That game will tip at either 3 or 3:30 on Sunday afternoon.
– Jason Harris