Ohio State downs California 76-70

Ohio State downs California 76-70

zz The Buckeye Battlecry

Ohio State downs California 76-70

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The Madison Square Garden rims just do not suit William Buford.

The Madison Square Garden rims just do not suit William Buford.

In a game that almost turned into a rout early in the 2nd half, the Buckeyes did their best to carry their momentum from the end of last night’s game into tonight.  They succeeded, securing the 76-70 win over the #12 Golden Bears.

The Bucks looked a lot better tonight against Cal than they did last night.  This time, they made smart decisions and had good shot selection to play a tight first half with Cal.  Unlike against UNC, where the Bucks found themselves in a deep hole, they put themselves in a position to be successful tonight and were able to claim the victory.

Following some good shooting to end the first half, the Buckeyes opened the second with an impressive run and managed to build a 24 point lead early.  California made some good adjustments quickly and created a 17-2 run of their own to bring it back to being a respectable score midway through the 2nd stanza.  Cal continued to fight back, forcing the Bucks into mistakes and playing tough in all aspects of the game, and with 5 minutes left found themselves down only 6.  Unfortunately for them, Cal had managed to get the Bucks into the double bonus allowing Diebler to increase the score back to 8 on the charity stripe.

By that point, the Bear’s Gutierrez had fouled out, and two other critcal starters – Guard Patrick Christopher and Center Markhuri Sanders-Frison – had 4 each.  Eventually, all Cal was able to do was trade baskets with the Buckeyes, allowing Ohio State to coast to the victory and the 3rd place podium at the Coaches vs. Cancer classic.

Ohio State did a much better job tonight moving the ball and spreading it around to their scorers.  4 players managed to get into double figures (each of the starters with the exception of Madsen), and Simmons managed to score 5 points to round out the scoring.  Turner’s assist and turnover numbers were much better compared to the UNC game – 6/4 against Cal versus 4/10 against UNC – as he did a better job of controlling his play in the Point Guard spot and getting the ball to the players that could produce.  Turner ended the game with 26 points and 14 rebounds to complete his fourth game for the season with at least a double-double.  He also managed to foul out with 5 seconds left in the game during Cal’s desperate attempt to make something happen.

The Bucks also shot substantially better from the field shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three.  Buford continued to struggle a little bit with 4-11 shooting, though he was solid from long range hitting 2 of his 3.  Hopefully this isn’t indicitave of a slump for Buford as Ohio State desperately needs his production to be able to be competitive.

Also notable tonight was Dallas Lauderdale’s play in his first start of the season.  Lauderdale secured 5 rebounds (second highest on team) and had 3-4 shooting on the night.  What’s notable is that he tied his single game high of 7 blocks in a game.  He had a dominating effort early which Bobby Knight appreciated greatly and couldn’t stop raving about.  It’s nice to see Lauderdale regain his “Swatterdale” title against decent competition.  He leaves New York with 10 total blocks in the two games played.

Ohio State only played 3 players outside of their starters today.  Jeremie Simmons who scored 5 points and secured a rebound, PJ Hill who put up a good defensive effort and Kyle Madsen in a backup role for Dallas Lauderdale.  Big Z Sarikopoulis, Nikola Kecman, and Walter Offutt did not make an appearance in either game.  Nor did Mark Titus and Danny Peters, much to dismay of the Buckeye fans watching.

Don’t expect this win to look particularly good at the end of the season.  While Cal is a very good team, they were missing two of their best players in Harper Kamp and Theo Robertson.  This has cost them a lot of production down low, and it’s uncertain when Cal will manage to get either of them back.  Hopefully it’s soon, or Cal will struggle down the stretch.

The Buckeyes (3-1) next face the Lipscomb Bisons (0-3) on the 24th of November (Tuesday) at 7:00pm (I promise the time is right this time).  You can catch that game on the Big Ten Network

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