Buckeyes Run Away From The Citadel
In a final tune-up prior to the big showdown in New Orleans with defending national champion, #5 North Carolina, the Ohio State men’s basketball team dispatched The Citadel Bulldogs in short order by a final score of 94-65. The Buckeyes led from wire to wire, taking a 22-point lead into the locker room at in large part due to a 15-0 run late in the half. It was a game where Coach Chris Holtmann was able to get a lot of time for his bench with no player playing more than 18 minutes and 11 of the 13 players reaching the scoring column.
The Buckeyes as a team assisted on a season high 27 of 37 made field goals and outscored the Bulldogs 22-0 in fast break points. The Citadel plays and up and down style of basketball and the Buckeyes to their credit did a great job in their transition defense, which limited the Bulldogs’ opportunities. The Citadel, one of 7 Division 1 schools without a senior on the roster and struggling with limited size in the post, settled for long jumpers all evening, attempting a season high 42 threes, making just 13. Keita Bates-Diop and Kam Williams led Ohio State in scoring with 17 apiece, while C.J. Jackson added 13 and 7 assists and Andrew Dakich chipped in a career high 10 to go along with 5 dimes.
After playing limited minutes in recent games of late, both Kyle Young and Micah Potter saw significant minutes and both pulled down 8 rebounds in the win. For the game, Ohio State shot 50% from the floor and hitting 13 of 35 3-point attempts with a handful of those attempts coming in the waning minutes from the walk-ons looking to get in the scorebook.
The Buckeyes run of cupcakes ends with promotion to the adults table on Saturday and they will go in with a lot of confidence. They have done a much better job of taking care of the basketball and lead all of college basketball in field goal percentage since the calendar turned to December. They will be challenged in the post but if they can stay fundamental, not try to make the big play, but make the smart play, they will have a chance to compete against Carolina. Either way, it is a no lose situation for the Buckeyes. If they lose, they were supposed to, but if they can pull the upset, then they will have the biggest win on their resume in several years which will go a long way in determining their fate in March.
Next up, Ohio State heads to New Orleans, where they will take on the 5th ranked North Carolina Tarheels in the CBS Sports Classic. Tip time on CBS is scheduled for 1:30pm.
– Jason Harris