The 2013-14 basketball season is under way for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
No. 11 OSU beat Walsh University in an exhibition game, 93-63, Sunday in the team’s first action of the season.
Walsh sophomore guard Jesse Hardin scored a game-high 18 points. OSU senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. and junior forward LaQuinton Ross each poured in 15 to lead a balanced attack for the Buckeyes, who had five players score in double figures.
After leading 49-26 at the half, OSU was slow out of the gate in the second half. Each of the Buckeyes’ first three offensive possessions ended with a turnover, two of which were committed by junior center Amir Williams.
Walsh was able to get the margin down to 19 with a 3-pointer by senior forward Hrvoje Vucic with 17:04 remaining. But an 11-2 OSU run, capitalized by an inbound pass alley-oop from senior guard Aaron Craft to junior forward Sam Thompson, put the game out of reach.
OSU coach Thad Matta said although Walsh played well on defense, his team did not capitalize on what mistakes their opponent did make.
“We didn’t take good care of (the basketball), especially in the second half,” Matta said.
The Cavaliers scored 12 points off of OSU’s 18 turnovers.
OSU didn’t begin the game particularly strongly, either.
“To start the game, we missed three or four lay-ups there. We didn’t have the flow we were looking for offensively,” Matta said. “We were holding the ball a little bit too long.”
Williams missed a shot from close range on the Buckeyes’ second trip down the court and was substituted out shortly thereafter, but said he didn’t let the miss affect the way he played.
Williams said OSU associate head coach Dave Dickerson told him in the team’s shoot-around, “Don’t let your first and second shot determine the outcome of how you play the rest of the game.”
Williams would finish the game with eight points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and three steals over 19 minutes of action.
The Buckeyes and Cavaliers exchanged the lead four times in the opening minutes before Thompson put his team ahead for good with a free throw at the 15:13 mark.
OSU made half of its 60 shots from the floor, including four of nine from behind the arc.
The Buckeyes made 19 of 24 (79 percent) free throws, while Walsh only attempted two free throws in the first half, making one.
OSU is set to tip-off its regular season Nov. 9 against Morgan State at noon in Schottenstein Center.
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