In an eight-day span that featured both Christmas and New Year’s Day, the college basketball season somewhat stalled, allowing players to go home to their families during the week and getting back on the basketball schedule during the weekend. With this quirk, the Ohio State Buckeyes had just one game in which they took down the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks, 72-59, to close out the non-conference schedule with a victory.
Early on, it wasn’t easy for the Buckeyes. Midway through the first half, the Buckeyes had just 12 points and were 3-0f-16 from the floor. Their defense was doing well, however, holding the Redhawks to just nine points in almost the first 12 minutes of the game. Ohio State’s offense eventually warmed up, making 7-of-10 shots to close out the half and taking a 35-28 lead into the halftime locker room.
With an seven-point lead, the scarlet and gray went on a 12-2 run early in the second half to build the lead to 17 with a little more than 14 minutes remaining in the game. Much like they had all afternoon, Miami fought their way back, cutting the lead to just 56-52 with just under seven minutes left. In a second half that included plenty of runs from both teams, Ohio State went on their own 11-2 run to take the lead for good.
Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann was happy with his team’s performance, although there were plenty of ups and downs. He knows that his team must still improve in plenty of areas going into the Big Ten season.
“It was a type of game that was a grind and there’s going to be some other games like that moving forward,” he said. “The challenge for us is to really improve on some areas that we weren’t really good in today.”
Much like he has so far this season, Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes in scoring column, with 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal, and five blocks. Three of the other four Buckeye starters also notched double figures as well: C.J. Jackson (16 points, five rebounds, six assists, one steal), Kam Williams (15 points, two rebounds), Jae’Sean Tate (11 points, five rebounds, one assist).
The Buckeyes’ defense had quite a game, holding the Redhawks to just 59 points and allowing them to shoot just 37 percent from the floor and 27 percent from beyond the arc. They also forced 14 turnovers as well.
Coming up this week:
Thursday at Iowa, 7 p.m. ET
Sunday vs. Michigan State, 4:30 p.m. ET