Ohio State showed once again that it can score points by going over the century mark for the second time this season. Four of the five Buckeye starters were in double figures and even the bench chipped in 25 points.
Jeremie Simmons led the Buckeyes with 18 points but was matched by Jon Diebler’s 17, Turner’s 16, Buford’s 15, and Lauderdale’s 11. PJ Hill came off the bench to add ten points and four rebounds.
Ohio State (5-1) shot 63 percent from the field and was 42 percent from three-point range. The Buckeyes out re-bounded the Red Flash 44-22, and also had 11 blocks as a team. The Buckeye’s led in every statistical category but turnovers, that one belonged to St. Francis which managed 18 to Ohio State’s 10.
St. Francis (1-5) was led by Cedirc Latimer’s 16 points, but he and Devin Sweetney, who had 10 points, we’re the only two Red Flash players in double figures. The Buckeye’s defense was too much and forced a season low 26 percent shooting from the field which included 29 percent from behind the arc.
Ohio State’s improved point guard play was the best thing to come out of this game. Having both Jeremie Simmons and PJ Hill in double figures while only having 10 turnovers as a team shows that these to players are well on their way to a productive season this year as they battle each other for the starting position.
Dallas Lauderdale continues to be a menace for opposing players trying to score in the paint, and will continue to be a force for the rest of the season. His six blocks led the team and forced mostly outside shooting in the first half allowing for the Buckeyes to capitalize on a poor shooting performance by the Red Flash.
Jon Diebler has caught fire from three-point range going 5-7 for 15 of his 17 points. His growing confidence and accuracy will be difficult to overcome for opposing teams that still have to face Ohio State this season.
Ohio State will take on Florida State (5-1) in the ACC vs Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday at 9:30pm. The Seminoles will be another barometer test for the Buckeyes, allowing them to grade how far they’ve progressed so far this season.