COLUMBUS — At times dominating, and other times demoralizing, the Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) put together enough of the former to overcome the latter in an 82-72 win over Radford (1-1).
It was a 17-1 run to start the second half by OSU that ultimately put Saturday’s game away against the Highlanders, but there were struggles throughout much of this contest.
Buckeye point guard C.J. Jackson finished with 19 points, six rebounds, and three assists, but he was benched after his fourth turnover seven minutes into the game. It was then that head coach Chris Holtmann told Jackson to stop swinging for the fences and start looking for singles.
The baseball parlance helped, and when Jackson returned to the court the Buckeyes went on an 11-0 run, which was sparked by a Jackson three pointer.
Ohio State built a 13-point lead with a rejuvenated Jackson on the court, but would close the half at 44-34.
Then came the 17-1 run that ended any of Radford’s last best hopes. Jackson had seven points in that stretch, and sophomore center Micah Potter was active around the basket for a couple of scores of his own.
Ohio State built a 25-point lead twice in the second half, with the latter coming at the under-8 mark. In the final 2:32, however, the Highlanders closed on a 13-1 run, for a final score of 82-72.
Redshirt junior Keita Bates-Diop once again led the Buckeyes in scoring and rebounding, with 22 points and 10 boards, respectively. He was joined on the double-double ledger by senior forward Jae’Sean Tate with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Ohio State shot .515 in the first half, but just .353 in the second half. There were some positives throughout, but it won’t be easy for Holtmann to get over the negatives.
“I didn’t particularly care for the start, or really the first half,” he said. “The bulk of the first half I didn’t think we had the mindset we needed to have at times. Having said that, I thought that again Jae’Sean and Keita led the way with the way they talked to the team and challenged the team.”
Radford shot 11-of-22 from three-point range, but were outrebounded 45-33 by the Buckeyes.
Up next for Ohio State is Texas Southern Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 pm. The game will be aired on BTN.
Keita Bates-Diop was again the star for the Buckeyes. Radford really had no good way to defend him, and he took the Highlanders all over the court. He finished 8-of-17 shooting, including 3-of-7 from three-point range for his 22 points. Perhaps the best thing about his game on Sunday was his aggressiveness. Too often he can let the game come to him, or just flow with it, but against Radford he was dictating things and creating the current for Ohio State.
How about C.J. Jackson scoring a career-high 19 points? He did it on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from three. After the game, Chris Holtmann said that Jackson is a very good open shooter, which he showed today. It was an especially unexpected performance considering the early start that got him yanked in favor of Andrew Dakich.
“Turnovers. Yeah. Really just between me and C.J. the last two games, it’s just us and ‘Dak’ being the primary ball handlers, we’ve got to get that number way down. I think I had six the first game and he had seven. I had four tonight and he had seven tonight. We’ve just got to get that down. We’ve got to take care of the ball more. It’s new, a new system, a new team. I’m very excited and I know that we can – we will get better – as the season goes along.” — Jae’Sean Tate on what he noticed first when looking at the box score.
– This marks the third time that Ohio State and Radford have met. The Buckeyes have won all three matchups.
– The Buckeyes are 15-0 against teams representing the Big South Conference.
– The Buckeyes are now 8-0 when Keita Bates-Diop has a double-double.
– Chris Holtmann is now 2-0 as the head coach of the Buckeyes.
– Holtmann-coached teams are now 4-2 record against Radford.
– Jae’Sean Tate moves to No. 43 in all-time scoring at Ohio State with 13 points today for a total of 1,114 points. He passes Ron Sepic (1,107) and now trails Curtis Wilson (1,120).
– Tate earned his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. This is the 11th of his career.
– Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeye scoring effort and recorded a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. This is his second double-double of the season and eighth of his career.
– Bates-Diop was perfect from the free throw line (3-3).
– C.J. Jackson was the second leading scorer for the Buckeyes, scoring a career high 19 points.
Jackson tied his career high of six defensive rebounds for the third time (last at Michigan, 2/4/17).
[Jae’Sean Tate photo courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com]