Jared Sullinger has been doing his best to be Greg Oden version 2.0; tonight, he did just that, finishing with 30 points and 19 rebounds. The 19 rebounds were a career high and tied Oden for second most amongst freshman. Sullinger completed his fifth double-double of his short career.
Sullinger sent the Buckeye faithful into a frenzy as he trained a 30-foot shot off the backboard right before the half. The Buckeyes controlled the game from the tip and ran away with a 79-57 victory over SEC East leader South Carolina.
The Buckeyes expected to be in a stiffer contest against the gamecocks, but it never materialized as the game went on. Sam Muldrow finished with a team-high 14 points for South Carolina, while Malik Cooke added 13 as the only other player in double figures.
Ohio State got 11 out of Jon Diebler after his record-tying performance earlier in the week against Florida Gulf Coast. William Buford chipped in 12 of his own. David Lighty struggled on the offensive end of the court and finished with only nine, but he continues to make big plays this season.
Dallas Lauderdale has become a solid contributor on both ends of the court this season and has shown improvement in his offensive game. He’s the perfect compliment for Sullinger and snags his share of rebounds.
Dashaun Thomas continues to show toughness down in the post and finished with seven rebounds and seven points. He’s a spark off the bench that provides much needed depth for the Buckeye reserves.
Aaron Craft finished with three assists and four points but was laden with fouls and finished with three of his own. He played 23 minutes and continues to improve with his quick hands on defense.
Ohio State (10-0) has just three more games before conference play beings but shouldn’t be challenged much until facing Minnesota on January 9. The Buckeyes open up conference play with the Hoosiers and a struggling Iowa team.