Ohio State got more of a battle it wanted from UNC Asheville, but ultimately had no real problem dispatching the UNC Asheville Bulldogs on Saturday. Ohio State was in double digits before the midway point of the first half. Up 15 at intermission, Ohio State coasted to a 90-72 win that had a little bit of everything.
One of the stories of this game was Keith Hornsby, the sophomore guard for UNC Asheville. Billed, constantly, through the game as the son of “Grammy Award winner Bruce Hornsby”, Hornsby performed to the hype. At least: the hype of being Bruce Hornsby’s son. Hornsby was 9/12 on the game, 6/8 from three, for a game-high 26 points. He was the reason that a lopsided 90-72 Ohio State win wasn’t an even more lopsided 90-52 win. He couldn’t miss until the game was well in hand. UNC Asheville shot, as a team, 42% from the field, but was 16/47 (34%) with Hornsby’s box score omitted. He did what he could this game, but it was largely a Sisyphean task.
Meanwhile, Ohio State played a fairly balanced game that got production from almost everyone. Evan Ravenel led all Buckeyes with 12 first half points as Ohio State attacked the paint. The Buckeyes showed just how pretty of a basketball team it can be when its passes are crisp and multiple. Thomas found easy shots, as did Ravenel. Lenzelle Smith complemented this with 11 first half points, including a few baseline three pointers. The second half saw the Buckeyes transition to many outside jump shots, which fortunately found the net. Thompson finished with a team high 18 points. Behind him: Thomas had 17 points, albeit on 6/14 shooting.
This was a game Ohio State wins 95 times of 100, maybe more, just by virtue of the talent discrepancy. There are some points belaboring. The transition offense was great this game. The point guard play from Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott was exceptional. Scott, in particular, had a banner day. Showing a strong commitment to defense, Scott finished with 7 points, 9 assists, and 6 steals. Craft added 6 points and 8 assists. In total, Craft and Scott finished with 17 assists and just one turnover, which is fantastic. Further, it is worth asking where LaQuinton Ross’ head was this game. He had 8 points on 4/10 shooting, as well as 6 turnovers. Amir Williams continues to be a jangly dude, who Michael (in the BBN live blog) likened to a stork. As Kansas looms, we really need him to find something presentable for that matchup.
The Buckeyes return to action on Tuesday against Winthrop. Thereafter, Kansas comes to town on Saturday.