Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Ohio State football wasn’t the university’s only team to claim a championship recently – the Buckeyes men’s basketball team did some celebrating of its own.
The No. 4-ranked Buckeyes (3-0) defeated Washington (2-2), 77-66, Sunday in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Championship Game in Uncasville, Conn. OSU junior forward Deshaun Thomas tied a career high with 31 points in the game – 21 of which came in the first half – and added eight rebounds in the win. Junior Aaron Craft added 18 points of his own to continue his hot scoring start for OSU.
Washington, which advanced to the championship after beating Seton Hall on Saturday, was led by junior guard C.J. Wilcox’s 18 points.
The game was played at a half-empty Mohegan Sun Arena, according to an OSU athletics release, and was the Buckeyes’ first meeting with the Huskies since 1972. OSU trails in the all-time series with Washington, 4-8, according to the release.
The Buckeyes advanced to the tournament’s Sunday finale after a 69-58 win against Rhode Island in the programs’ first-ever meeting on Saturday. Thomas paced OSU with 25 points in the semifinal match. Buckeyes junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., tallied 15 points while Craft added 13.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to action Friday against the University of Missouri-Kansas City at the Schottenstein Center with a 6 p.m. tip off. OSU athletics spokesman Dan Wallenberg tweeted on Sunday that the No. 4 OSU football team (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) and first-year coach Urban Meyer would address fans in attendance at Friday’s men’s hoops game.
The football team is scheduled to play rival Michigan on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.