Men's Basketball

Buckeyes Open B1G Play With 79-59 Win Over Gophers

COLUMBUS — Led by a career-high 16 points from junior forward Andre Wesson, the Buckeyes (7-1, 1-0) opened Big Ten play with a 79-59 win over Minnesota (6-2, 0-1).

Wesson was one of six Buckeyes in double figures on the night, as Ohio State hit 7-of-17 three-pointers and were 14-of-30 from the field in each half.

Defensively, they held Minnesota to 20-of-51 shooting and 0-of-13 from three-point range. The Buckeyes also outrebounded the Gophers 42-33, and their physicality set the tone all night long.

The Buckeyes got their scoring started with a pair of layups by sophomore forward Kyle Young. Young scored 10 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out three assists, and picked up two steals.

Minnesota soon tied the game at 5-5, but that’s when Ohio State took control.

A three-pointer from Andre Wesson got things started for the Buckeyes, and his basket was followed by two free throws from sophomore wing Musa Jallow. An old-fashioned three-point play by Wesson followed.

OSU’s brief run was then halted by a pair of free throws from Minnesota’s Amir Coffey, but it was only slowed for a moment.

A dunk by Young, a jumper by freshman guard Duane Washington, and a three and a dunk by Jallow found the Buckeyes with a 24-7 lead with 9:41 remaining in the first half. Jallow scored a season high 11 points on 4-of-4 shoooting.

A jumper from Wesson then made it a 21-2 run for the Buckeyes, which then provided a cushion they leaned on for the rest of the game.

The Gophers didn’t give up quite yet, however, fighting back to get the OSU lead down to eight with under a minute to play in the first half. The Buckeyes were able to get the halftime lead back up to 11 points with another three-point play from Wesson.

In the second half, it was Andre Wesson’s younger brother Kaleb who then took over. Wesson the Younger scored the Buckeyes’ first seven points of the half and he then added a baseline jumper with 15:53 remaining to make it 50-33 Ohio State. Kaleb Wesson scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.

The Gophers would only be able to get the OSU lead down to 13 points before the Buckeyes cranked it back up again and led by as many as 23 points.

Up next for Ohio State is a road game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at the United Center in Chicago. That game will take place on Wednesday and tip at 7:00 pm.

The Star

Andre Wesson hit 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-5 from three-point territory. He and Musa Jallow were responsible for 17 of OSU’s 21 points in their 21-2 run in the first half. Wesson hit from the perimeter and from the mid-range. He finished with a dunk on an underneath pass as well. He looked for his shot but never really forced anything, and as always, his versatility on defense was seen throughout the game. In a pinch, Wesson can essentially defend anybody on the opposition, which makes this a crafty defense to deal with.

Quick Thoughts

+ Freshman guard Luther Muhammad may be out indefinitely following a dislocated shoulder last week against Syracuse, but he was as active as anybody on the bench for the Buckeyes. During the first half, the Ohio State defense was on the OSU bench’s end of the court and Muhammad was shouting instructions and encouragement the entire time. As a tenacious defender, Muhammad is known for his energy, and even though he has a bum shoulder right now, that didn’t stop him from being constantly engaged and contributing wherever he could. After the game, head coach Chris Holtmann did not have much of an update on Muhammad’s timetable for return, but said Wednesday’s game is probably too early. The fact that they are already looking at his return seemingly bodes well, however.

+ Musa Jallow showed a side we have only seen flashes of during his first two seasons as a Buckeye. With Muhammad out, Jallow was more willing to be aggressive around screens and shoot the ball. He went up without hesitation on some jumpers, which has been unusual for him so far during his career. If he can continue that aggression and confidence, then perhaps Muhammad’s injury will be a blessing in disguise down the road.

+ Chris Holtmann has some problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about ’em!

The Box Score

The Postgame Videos

Minnesota coach Richard Pitino

Andre Wesson and Musa Jallow

Chris Holtmann

[Andre Wesson photo courtesy OhioStateBuckeyes.com. | Ohio State Basketball]

2 Responses

  1. What a great coach. I love the knock on the college Football committee.

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