The Ohio State Buckeyes topped the UCLA Bruins 80-66 this afternoon in the annual CBS Sports Classic. Chris Holtmann and Steve Alford are two young, very impressive coaches that would both be battling for a big win Saturday in the United Center. Alford and UCLA are off to a disappointing start at 7-4, but still are full of talent. Holtmann has proven already that he is a top college hoops coach and has the Bucks off to an 11-1 start after today.
The Buckeyes started off well on both ends of the ball mostly. They ran a motion style offense designed to play inside-out through Kaleb Wesson. UCLA was forced to respect Ohio State’s shooters which allowed Kaleb to play one on one and get solid looks at the rim. Wesson lead the Bucks in scoring at the half while six other players were able to get on the scoreboard as well. The Bruins did slow down the Buckeyes at times however playing a 2-3 zone to take advantage of their incredible length in their lineup. They often disrupted the offense by playing the passing lanes and made the Bucks pay for their lazy entry passes to the post. Offensively, the Bruins were sloppy having 12 first half turnovers. They still shot nearly 50 percent and got looks down on the block right near the rim. They used a flex screening offense based around screen action by the baseline. This forced Ohio State to play extremely close to trail the screens and avoid giving the Bruins clean looks. This lead to them overplaying and getting back-doored giving up layups. Kris Wilkes was their go-to guy as he put up double digits in the first 20 minutes of play. The Buckeyes however were able to take a 33-30 lead going into the half.
The Bucks started off the half quickly extending the lead to six despite Luther Muhammad picking up a quick third foul. Kaleb Wesson continued to be the focal point of the Buckeye offense as they looked to him on the block. He was able to consistently get great position on the block and found Kyle Young cutting along the baseline often as well. Young also finished a momentum-shifting dunk on a lob from Duane Washington to get himself going in the final 20 minutes. Having the two bigs in Wesson and Young work well together against the zone forced UCLA to turn their attention to the post which allowed more space for the Buckeye perimeter players. UCLA also mixed in a 1-2-2 press that the Bucks managed well with C.J. Jackson working against it as the lead guard. Ohio State did begin fouling and put the Bruins at the line far too much allowing them to stay in the game. Keyshawn Woods would begin to run the lead guard spot to get C.J. Jackson shots off the ball. Woods showed a phenomenal ability to run the show and distributed the ball extremely well. Jackson was able to hit numerous huge shots in the corner to push the Buckeye lead to double-digits and Kyle Young was also able to make big plays down the stretch. Jaylen Hands hit a couple big shots in the final five minutes to threaten the Buckeye lead. Ohio State did hold on and pulled away with the win 80-66.
OHIO STATE STANDOUTS
C.J. Jackson: 22 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds
Kaleb Wesson: 15 points, 12 rebounds
Kyle Young: 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
- UCLA STANDOUTS
Kris Wilkes: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks
Jaylen Hands: 13 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals
Moses Brown: 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks
- OHIO STATE STATS
42 FG %
35 3PT %
- UCLA STATS
44 FG %
22 3PT %
The Buckeyes managed to come out on top with another impressive win over the immensely talented Bruins of UCLA. The Buckeyes will likely move up from 15th in the national rankings now and are continuing to prove the doubters wrong. The Bucks will take on High Point in Columbus next Saturday after Christmas break.
Image From Daily Journal