Chris Holtmann and The Ohio State basketball team topped Richard Pitino’s Minnesota squad 79-59 this Sunday night in Columbus to start consistent Big Ten conference play. The Bucks switched up the starting lineup after Luther Muhammad suffered a shoulder injury against Syracuse. Keyshawn Woods filled his place and Musa Jallow also received more minutes in Luther’s absence.
Both teams started out great defensively and managed to keep each other from scoring too much early. Kaleb Wesson and Minnesota star Jordan Murphy also both went to the bench early with foul trouble forcing both sides to find more scoring from their other role players. Kyle Young and Musa Jallow were huge for the Buckeyes early as they got going. Young finished the first half with 6 points and Jallow with 11 off the bench. Andre Wesson also performed well early and the Bucks were able to jump ahead with a 21-2 run. Minnesota however found their way back using a zone to test Ohio State after struggling against Syracuse’s zone at times. The Gophers were able to get a few quick transition buckets out of this and cut the lead to just 39-28 at the half.
Minnesota continued to use their zone defense to start the second half trying to dig deeper into the Buckeye lead. Ohio State handled it much better and Kaleb Wesson was able to get off to a fast start with 7 quick points. He would find himself back on the bench soon after with his third foul. Ohio State continued to play well and also had a stretch where they held Minnesota to zero field goals for over six minutes while they pushed the lead to 22. The Bucks also did a tremendous job of defending the three after letting Syracuse shoot nearly 50 percent from beyond the arc. They held the Gophers to 0-13 from three being the first time Ohio State hasn’t given up a three in a conference game since 1992. Ohio State also continued to really contain Jordan Murphy in the final 20 minutes and Minnesota really struggled to find any success on the offensive end.
The Golden Gophers tried to slow down the Buckeyes but flat out were just out-matched. C.J. Jackson ran the show smoothly as role players stepped up throughout and helped create a huge lead. The Wesson brothers also combined for 31 points and six total Buckeye players scored in double figures. All of these thing would allow Ohio State to coast to an easy win to get back on track.
- Ohio State Standouts
Andre Wesson: 16 points, 5 rebounds
Kaleb Wesson: 15 points, 6 rebounds
Kyle Young: 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
- Minnesota Standouts
Amir Coffey: 19 points, 3 rebounds
Dupree McBrayer: 13 points, 1 steal
Daniel Oturu: 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks
The Buckeyes came out on top 79-59. They were able to pull ahead pretty early and hold off the various runs from Pitino’s team. This was a solid bounce back game after a tough first loss to Syracuse during the week. Coach Holtmann and the ranked Buckeyes will travel to Champaign on Wednesday to take on the Fighting Illini as they continue conference play.
Image From The Marion Star