Ohio State suffered their first loss to a non-conference unranked at home since West Virginia back in 2008, after suffering a loss to UT Arlington, 73-68.
In what was a very sloppy basketball game, UT Arlington got off to the start that they would hope for, playing stingy defense on the Buckeyes, forcing a few early turnovers, holding onto a 7-5 lead through the first five minutes of the game.
After falling down 11-7, Ohio State found their defensive stride, and were able to manufacture an 8-0 run, giving the Buckeyes their biggest lead of the game at 15-11 with 12:35 left in the first half. UT Arlington called a timeout to stop the Buckeye momentum, led by 3-pointers from Marc Loving and Kam Williams
The Buckeyes played very sloppy basketball with the Mavericks for the majority of the half. The two teams kept trading baskets after UT Arlington was able to tie the game at 15. Ohio State would once again get a four point lead after a pair of Trevor Thompson free throws to make it 23-19 Bucks.
Every time it seemed the Buckeyes might get breathing room, the Mavericks fought back. They continued to trade punches, with the Buckeyes taking a 34-32 lead into the half. Faith Pope led the Mavericks with seven first half points. Keita Bates-Diop had eight in the half for the Bucks, and JaQuan Lyle five points, 5 assists, and four rebounds.
UT Arlington started off the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 39-34 lead on Ohio State. Thad Matta was visibly upset with his team after the first under-16 timeout of the half down 44-39. The timeout didn't do much good for the Buckeyes, as the Mavericks took their biggest lead of the game at 48-39.
The Buckeyes were finding a groove down 50-46, when Daniel Giddens was called for a technical foul for taunting a player after blocking his shot after the whistle, and yelling at him. After the tech, UT Arlington was able to extend the lead to 57-48, but just as it appeared they were gaining all of the momentum, Marc Loving drew an and-one, bringing it back to 57-51 with just over eight minutes remaining.
The Mavericks once again tied their largest lead at 62-53 with 6:36 left in the half. The Buckeyes continued to look sloppy, and wouldn't capitalize off of UT Arlington's mistakes. Troubles at the free throw line were abundant as well, and one of the main reasons the Buckeyes were down at this point in the game.
JaQuan Lyle stepped up, scoring six straight points for the Buckeyes to cut it to a 62-57 game with under four minutes remaining. But it wasn't enough, as the Buckeyes lost 73-68.
The Mavericks made 15 out of their last 16 free throws to finish the upset. Kevin Hervey led the Mavs with 18 points and seven rebounds. Erick Neal had 17 points, and went 7-fof-8 from the free throw line. UT Arlington was simply the better team tonight.
Keita Bates-Diop had 16 points and five rebounds for the Buckeyes. JaQuan Lyle had 16 points, eight assists, and six rebounds, and Marc Loving added 12. The Buckeyes will look to rebound against Louisiana Tech on Tuesday, Nov. 24 in Columbus.
1. Turnovers must stop. You know they'll come with a young team, but it was alarmingly excessive against a team like UT Arlington. Not that the Mavericks are at the bottom of Division-I college hoops, but defenses aren't going to get easier once the Buckeyes get into the meat of their schedule. The Buckeyes looked very sloppy, and many time careless with the basketball.
The Mavericks played to the Buckeyes weakness with a full-court press after every made basket, which helped initiate some turnovers, forcing the Buckeye guards to make bad decisions. The Buckeyes are young, and they'll have time to learn from their mistakes and grow into the college game before the more
2. As KDB and Marc Loving go, so do the Buckeyes. Through the first three games, production out of Bates-Diop and Loving have for the most part been the one constant on this team. It's clear these freshmen are finding their roles and still learning the college game, but having Bates-Diop and Loving lead really helps this team. Without some sort of elder leadership, this Buckeye team would probably be a lot worse off.
Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with eight points in the first half, and Loving provided six of his own on a pair of 3-pointers. They are always all over the floor, and it seems when the Buckeyes need a basket the most, one of the two are there to provide for the team.
3. The sky's the limit for Daniel Giddens, but OSU might not have time for growing pains. Giddens' athletic ability makes almost any ball that goes up or off the rim underneath the basket playable. He was a monster on the offensive glass, often giving the Buckeyes second chances. Not to mention, Giddens plays with a fire that you don't see in most guys. He wants every ball, and is quite the competitor. It hurt the Buckeyes in the second half when he got his technical, but he will learn from those mistakes.
Giddens might just be Ohio State's best player on the defensive end because of what he provides, but if he can develop his offensive game, that would be a huge boost to a team that desperately needs a strong presence in the post on the offensive end. Right now, it's clear the Buckeyes need answers there. That will be something to look for in the future with his development.