Games Notes from Opening Round Win over UTSA
By Brandon Castel
CLEVELAND, Ohio — As expected, Friday’s matchup with 16-seed Texas-San Antonio didn’t prove to be much of a contest for top-seeded Ohio State.
After struggling out of the gates, Ohio State used a 9-0 run to take the lead in the first half and never looked back. They also had a 15-0 run in the second half as they knocked off the Roadrunners 75-46.
The Buckeyes shot the ball incredibly well against UTSA’s zone defense. They made 62.5 percent of their baskets in the first half and 55.8 percent for the game. The most impressive number from Ohio State’s opening-round win, however was their 26 assists on 29 made shots.
Point guard Aaron Craft led the team with seven assists, including a perfect alley-oop to Dallas Lauderdale. Jon Diebler, David Lighty and William Buford each finished with five assists, while Deshaun Thomas must have had a career-high with three.
The 26 assists was a new NCAA Tournament school record, besting the previous mark of 21 established most recently against St. John’s in 1999.
- After trailing 9-5 at the 16:15 mark of the first half, Ohio State hit four consecutive three-pointers as part of a 30-12 run to close the half.
- After a UTSA basket with 6:13 left in the half, Ohio State went on an 11-0 run over the next 5:19 to stretch a 25-17 lead to 36-17.
- The Roadrunners were held scoreless from the 6_13 mark of the first half until 54 seconds remained before the break when junior forward Larry Wilkins scored on a layup.
- After UTSA started the second half on a 5-0 run, the Buckeyes scored nine unanswered points to assume a 46-26 advantage.
- Ohio State turned in a 15-0 second-half run.
- After scoring a career-high 29 points against Alabama State on Wednesday, sophomore guard Melvin Johnson III was limited to just three points in the first half on 1-of-16 shooting from the field.
- Johnson finished with a season-low five points, snapping a string of 14 consecutive games scoring in double figures. He was just 1-of-9 from the field.
- Ohio State snapped UTSA’s season-best six-game winning streak that dated back to a 70-58 win over Arkansas State on March 2.
Ohio State Team Notes:
- Ohio State is 4-0 against members of the Southland Conference.
- The Buckeyes made their 32nd NCAA Tournament appearance today, improving to 40-21 all-time after their 75-46 win.
- Ohio State has now won its first NCAA Tournament game in nine of its last 10 tournament appearances. The Buckeyes have only lost their first tournament contest twice in 32 appearances.
- With a three by Deshaun Thomas at the 6:33 mark of the second half, Ohio State matched an NCAA Tournament school record with 11 three-pointers, equaling the mark set against Central Connecticut State (3/15/07), when the Buckeyes were 11-of-20 beyond the arc.
- Freshman Lenzelle Smith set a new NCAA Tournament school record for Ohio State in three-pointers, making one with 2:39 left in the game. They were 12-of-24 against the Roadrunners Friday.
- Ohio State finished the game with a 50 percent three-point shooting percentage, the third-best NCAA Tournament mark in school history, equaling 50-percent marks set against St. John’s (3/20/99) and Towson State (3/15/91).
- Ohio State connected on 62.4 percent of its shots in the first half, marking the fifth time this season they have posted a 60 percent or better field goal percentage in the first half.
Ohio State Player Notes:
- Junior William Buford scored the Buckeyes’ first seven points in the game and 10 of their first 12, including a one-handed dunk.
- Buford was 3-of-4 behind the arc in the initial stanza and finished the game 3-of-5, one triple shy of equaling his career-high of four, set three times, most recently against Minnesota on Jan. 31, 2011.
- Senior Jon Diebler had four first-half assists and finished the game with five. His career-high is eight established against Houston Baptists on Jan. 9, 2009.
-With three makes from behind the arc Friday, Diebler has now connected on a three-pointer in 51 consecutive games.
- Freshman Jared Sullinger finished one rebound shy of posting his 18th double-double of the year with an 11-point, nine-rebound performance.
- Freshman Aaron Craft was held scoreless for the first time since the Buckeyes defeated Western Carolina, 85-60, on Dec. 12, 2010. He did distribute a game-high seven assists in 24 minutes.
- Freshman Lenzelle Smith connected on the first three of his career with 2:39 left in the game.
Game Play by Play
Season Stats Year to Date
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