Overall, this wasn't a great day for Big Ten basketball. Heavily favored Purdue lost to North Florida at home. Michigan suffered an upset for the ages, as they lost to NJIT, who'd never even played a Top 25 opponent prior to their upset over the Wolverines. But while the Buckeyes struggled at times with Colgate, they ultimately pulled away, winning soundly.
The Buckeyes raced to an 10-0 lead keeping Colgate without a rebound for the first five minutes of the game. But then the shooting foes that plagued Ohio State during the Louisville game quickly stormed back, as Ohio State struggled through a four minute scoring drought, allowing the Raiders to climb back into the game. Perhaps they were too excited to watch the football team later tonight. Ohio State went into halftime only winning 31-21, and shot only 35.5% from the floor. Marc Loving lead the way with 12 points. Shannon Scott and D'Angelo Russell combined to shoot 3-15, for seven points.
The second half helped to secure Ohio State's win over the Raiders, keeping pace with the 10-point lead and slightly adding to it. The Buckeyes shot a tad better in the second half, helping their shooting percentage en route to the bounce back win. D'Angelo Russell started to find his groove as well, improving on his dismal first half. Colgate wouldn't give in for the game, though, and played it fairly close throughout the contest, but the Buckeyes pulled away late in the second half, extending their lead by 20. The Raiders added another loss to their record, moving to 1-7 on the season. Ohio State improves to 6-1 and get ready to face High Point in their next game.
Three things we learned
1) Ohio State's best offensive threat may actually be Marc Loving. D'Angelo Russell may have the highest upside, or the best NBA Draft chances right now, but he's been a little inconsistent this season, and struggled for large stretches of the game today. Marc Loving was efficient with the basketball today, showing both the ability to drive to the basket, while also showing off some range, and hitting his free throws. Loving's size might help give him more opportunities on the perimeter, and be the everyday weapon the Buckeyes need. Loving had 12 points in the first half and finished with a strong showing.
2) Maybe we spoke too soon about Ohio State's shooting ability. Ohio State struggled to shoot the ball after coming out firing on all cylinders in the first few minutes of the game, and nobody struggled more than D'Angelo Russell. The Buckeyes overall shot just over 40 percent for the game, while not having much success from beyond the arc. Between Russell and Shannon Scott, the Buckeyes couldn't get much going, but thanks to some help from Marc Loving, Ohio State found some of their groove back to at least make the field goal percentage somewhat respectable.
3) Rebounding may be a concern. Although Amir Williams spent some time in and out as the Bucks worked on rotations, the Buckeyes weren't out-rebounding the Raiders as much as was expected. Despite making more of a gap in the second half, Ohio State only out-rebounded Colgate in the first half by a handful. Against a team with minimal big men, the Buckeyes should have easily take advantage against the less talented Raiders. With the Big Ten schedule coming up, Ohio State will have to improve their rebounding if they want to compete with the best teams in the Big Ten.