The Chris Holtmann era started off with a win on Friday against Robert Morris. On Sunday against Radford, the Ohio State Buckeyes kept on with their winning ways by defeating the Highlanders, 82-72.
C.J. Jackson set a career mark in points with 19. Keita Bates-Diop also put up points, scoring 22. In both games this season, Bates-Diop has hit the double-figure mark in scoring. Later in the second half, the forward reached the 10 rebound mark, accomplishing a double-double. (He did the same against Robert Morris.)
Not being left out of the double-double party, guard Jae’Sean Tate reached the accolade, too. Tate put 13 points on the board off of 5-of-12 shooting, and had 10 rebounds. For Tate, it’s his 11th double-double.
With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 15-0 versus Big South opponents.
Let’s take a look at how this game went.
Starting off, Jae’Sean Tate put the Buckeyes up first, scoring the first five points in the game. However, as quick as the Scarlet and Gray were to get out a lead, Radford answered back with a mini 6-0 run of their own.
But the quick scoring runs for either team was about to be met with a field goal drought. With the score 13-10 in favor the of Buckeyes at the 11:46 mark in the first half, both teams went over three minutes without getting a basket to fall. In the case of the Highlanders, the drought included a stretch of four missed shots.
Shortly thereafter, another TV timeout was taken. And the that timeout helped break up the slump from the Buckeyes. A Kaleb Wesson jumper gave the home team a 15-10 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the half. The first 15 OSU points were only split amongst three players: Wesson, Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate. Scoring from the Highlanders was opposite to what the Buckeyes were doing; in their first 14 points, five different members hit a basket.
Unlike Friday night against Robert Morris, the Buckeyes couldn’t pull away from Radford early. Going into the under-eight minute media timeout, OSU held a 22-14 lead on the visitors from Virginia. The 8-point lead came off a 7-0 scoring run for the Scarlet and Gray, combined with another drought from Radford—like last time, this drought carried on for over two minutes.
At this point, the floodgates began to creak open. Ohio State carried on their scoring run, eventually getting it to a 14-2 break. The shots were falling, too. Five-of-seven shots were drained for OSU, while missed jumpers and turnovers plagued the Highlanders’ chance of cutting into the lead. In one case, C.J. Jackson played a big part in the Buckeyes getting to a double-digit lead. However, he also played a role in giving Radford chances to get back into the game, by committing four turnovers.
With just under five minutes left in the first half, Ohio State had a 36-24 lead. That 12-point deficit didn’t faze Radford, as they pressed on to get within single digits. Sinking 7-of-9 shots during a stretch, the Highlanders got within six, 38-32, with 1:07 left before the halftime break. The mini comeback was assisted by Ohio State going on a scoreless slump that lasted nearly three minutes. (Fortunately for OSU, a Kam Williams dunk would stop the slump.)
Bates-Diop would get the Buckeyes back up to a double-digit lead by hitting a layup that went high off the glass. That layup make also drew an and-1 call. After converting on the free throw, Ohio State lead 43-32 with under a minute left in the half. Right before halftime, a Radford foul on Devonnte Holland put Wesson on the line for a pair of free throws.
Wesson would split the freebies, and would give the Buckeyes a 44-34 halftime lead. At the break, Ohio State was shooting 52 percent from the field, and had a five rebound advantage (20-15) over Radford. Bates-Diop had 12 of the team’s points, while Jackson topped off at 10—second most for the Scarlet and Gray. Donald Hicks and Randy Phillips were the scoring leaders from Radford; both had 8-points outings in the first half.
Droughts were a theme throughout the first half, so it would make sense that it would rear its head in the second half, too. After Bates-Diop dropped a three-pointer on the Bucks first possession, they would go nearly 2:30 without getting another point. Jackson’s layup at the 17:19 mark of the half broke up the drought, and pushed OSU’s lead out even further, 49-34.
Once Jackson hit the layup, the floodgates broke open for OSU. A 10-0 run mixed with another Radford two-minute scoring drought put the Buckeyes up even more. In the first 6:33 of the second half, Chris Holtmann’s team outscored the opposition 17-1. Of those 17 points, Jackson was responsible for 10 of them.
Jackson crossed the 19-point mark, and accomplished one of his best games in a Buckeye uniform.
C.J. Jackson has a career high 19 points on 7-11 shooting.— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) November 12, 2017
Even though two more multi-minute scoring droughts found their way to the Buckeyes, the Highlanders couldn’t bust the Scarlet and Gray’s lead. While they weren’t trailing by 26, a margin that occurred with 14 minutes left in regulation, Radford was still hovering around a 20-point deficit. A rough second half beyond the arc (3-10 in the half) prevented the visitors from making a late surge in Columbus.
With the OSU starters being sent to the bench, Radford did what they could to get the deficit down. In the final 2:11, the Highlanders went on a 13-1 run; at the same time, Ohio State was, again, in a shooting drought. This drought, however, would last the rest of the game—but it didn’t matter.
Carlik Jones led the Highlanders with 19 points and three assists, while Ed Polite Jr. led his team with six rebounds.
Up next for Ohio State will be Texas Southern. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday. BTN is slated to broadcast.