Posted: 8:01 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, 2013
By Ben Martens
Ohio State have been in cruise control since this one tipped off.
Ohio State asserted themselves on both ends of the court in the first half, playing stifling defense, getting out to run off of turnovers and defensive rebounds, and knocking down perimeter shots while putting their talent advantage on full display against Louisiana-Monroe, en route to a 41-20 halftime lead.
Junior forward LaQuinton Ross had the hot hand early, scoring eight of the team's first twelve points, as the Buckeyes got off to a 27-7 lead in the game's first ten minutes. Ross ended the half with 9 points, while senior Lenzelle Smith, Jr. paced the Buckeyes with 12. Amedeo Della Valle added 10, including 2-5 from beyond the arc. Thad Matta's squad shot over 46 percent from the field and made 5-11 from the 3-point line.
ULM struggled and seemed like the stage may have been to big for them. The Warhawks shot just 23 percent from the floor, turned the ball over five times, and committed eleven personal fouls. Senior Jayon James led the team with 7 points, while top scorers Amos Olatayo and Tylor Ongwae combined to shoot just 3-11 for 9 combined points. The lone bright spot for ULM was their eight offensive boards.
Ohio State is looking to close out the non-conference schedule undefeated for the first time since the 2010-11 season, and appears poised to enter Big Ten play with momentum.