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Buckeyes Put It Together in One-Side win Over Marshall
By John Porentas



COLUMBUS Oh -  The process of rebuilding OSU basketball took another step forward in The Buckeyes' (6-0 )  111-70 win over visiting Marshall (4-1). 

In every game this season the Buckeyes have shown improvement in some phase of the game, but never all phases at once in one game. They did just that against the Thundering Herd to score an impressive lopsided win and continue the rebuilding process. 

"That was a butt whoopin'," said Marshall Head Coach Dan D'Antoni after the carnage was over.

"They looked quicker, their spacing was better, they broke down our defense," said D'Antoni of the improvement he saw on the court vs. what he had seen on film of the Buckeyes. 

The Buckeyes got offensive production from every position while playing solid team defense against a team that had been averaging 84 points per game before tonight's contest. OSU also owned the glass, something they did not do in their last game against Jackson State. They outrebounded Marshall 61-32 including 27 offensive boards.  The Buckeyes played as complete a game as they have in a long, long time, but they are not ready to rest on their laurels. 

"It feels good, but we're going on the road and we know we still have a lot of work to do," said senior forward Marc Loving.  "We have three or four days to prepare for Virginia, so just make sure to bring the right mindset to practice. 

"We can't feel good at this point in the season because you'll end up dropping one and that's really what we don't want right now."

All five Buckeye starters as well as Trevor Thompson off the bench scored in double figures. Freshman center Micah Potter and senior forward Marc Loving registered double-doubles. Potter had 12 points and 12 rebounds while Loving had 20 points and 14 rebounds. Other double-figure scorers included Jae'Sean Tate with 20, JaQuan Lyle with 12 and Kam Williams with 17.

"Offense was something we really wanted to polish up on," said Thompson. "Throughout the season so far we really created our identity on the defensive end, so just picking up our pace and moving the ball from one side of the floor really opened up the court today."

Thompson had 15 points. With 12 from Potter OSU got 27 points from the post position. Thompson credited scouting and game plan for the production. 

"They run this defense called a tilt," said Thompson.  "We went over it in practice with the rotations of it guy, and the biggest thing was when I saw the guy rotate I would just find the net body and seal him.

"My teammates were doing a good job of finding me and I was doing a good job of sealing them."

The strategy led to open passing lanes to big men with a mismatch and that led to scoring easy baskets. It also brought a smile to the face of Thad Matta who was pleased that the Buckeyes were able first to understand the game plan but then take the next step and put it into action in the game. 

"I told the guys after the game, I think this has been a good week for this team," said Matta.

"I think we've grown in terms of we've gotten better on both sides of the basketball.  Are we there yet? No, we're not there. We've got to get Kaita back and get him playing, but from the standpoint of what we've done percentage-wise defensively has been a good thing for us. We're doing a better job of taking care of the basketball, and hopefully we getting more confident in terms of what we're running and how we're running it."

OSU ended the game with 22 assists on 46 made baskets. The Buckeyes shot 55 percent from the field including 34 percent from three point range.  Marshall shot 37 percent from the field and turned the ball over 15 times to equal their 15 assists.

Game Notes:

  • The Buckeyes scored a season-high 60 points in the first half.
  • This was the first time since Nov. 30, 1991 Ohio State has scored 60 or more points in the first half (61 vs Chicago State), and the first time since Mar. 3, 2001 they have scored 60 or more in either half (62 vs Penn State).
  • The Buckeyes scored 111 points in the contest, their first 100+ point effort since Dec. 27, 2014 against Wright State.
  •  Ohio State grabbed 61 rebounds on the night, the most rebounds recorded in the Matta era, surpassing the previous high of 60 against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 12, 2010.
  • The 27 Ohio State offensive rebounds on the night are the second most in the Thad Matta era.
  • The Buckeyes scored 62 points in the paint in the contest.
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