Men's Basketball

Buckeye shooting thaws just in time to secure win over UMass Lowell

COLUMBUS – Ohio State’s 74-64 win over UMass Lowell was anything but easy.

The Buckeyes (2-0)  missed their first 11-straight three-point attempts against UMass Lowell (1-1) in a game played at the Covelli center on campus at OSU. Meanwhile the River Hawks were knocking down threes at a 40% clip to keep themselves in the game. The Buckeyes rode an overwhelming edge in the paint to lead for most of the first half, but the three point shooting finally caught up with them as the half wound down. After leading by as many as nine in the first half OSU found themselves tied 33-all at the half, largely due to the disparity in three-point success.

Lowell took the lead early in the second half, on a made three, and stretched their lead to as many as five points as OSU’s cold shooting from distance continued. The lack of outside shooting allowed UMass to stay in an effective zone defense that let their bigs remain on the baseline as rim protectors.

Trailing by five OSU got it’s first three of the game from Justice Sueing to cut the Lowell lead to just two at 50-48.

With OSU still trailing by two at 51-49 Sueing drove the basket and was fouled on the way in. He was awarded two free throws, and on the play UMass Lowell was also assessed a technical foul resulting four free throw attempts for Sueing. He made all four to erase the two-point deficit and put OSU in the lead by two with 9:35 left to play.

From that point on the Buckeyes held on a narrow two  to  four-point lead. They were able to do so with continued dominance down low and the shooting of Duane Walker who finally found his three-point stroke. After going 0 for the first half from three, Walker connected from distance three times down the stretch to negate Lowell’s advantage from the arc. OSU outscored Lowell 7-1 over the last 2:06 of the game to turn what had been a tight game into a comfortable-looking 10-point win.

OSU shot 40% from the field and just 22% from three point range. What they lacked in shooting from the floor they made up for by making 26 of 33 free throw attempts.

Washington was the game-high scorer with 21 points. Justice Sueing added 15, C.J. Walker 13 and E.J.  Liddell 11. Liddell also tied with Kyle Young for game-high rebounding honors. Both had eight rebounds. OSU outrebounded UMass 41-31.