At the 9:30 mark of the first half of Friday night’s game between the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes and the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, the score was 25-7. The game teetered on that moment when it becomes a lost cause for the underdog and a fancy practice for the favored team. If ULM had a chance to hang around, that was the moment they needed a run. That run never came.
Trying to muster any bit of momentum they could, the Warhawks continued to be overwhelmed in the second half of the game. The game reached the point where there was 10:40 left in the second half, and ULM still had not scored since halftime. It was that kind of non-conference game, where the two teams simply didn’t belong in the same gym. In the end Ohio State won by a final score of 71-31.
With the win the Buckeyes pushed their non-conference record, as well as their season mark, to a perfect 13-0. Lenzelle Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross led the way on the score sheet with 17 and 15 points, respectively. But when you think of Ohio State basketball you think of stifling defense. From Aaron Craft on down, that was on full display Friday night.
Ohio State held ULM to a meager 18% shooting as a team and forced 14 turnovers. That’s not to mention the aforementioned moments when ULM had only seven points 10 minutes into the game and then could not score for the first 10 minutes of the second half. That will be the Buckeyes’ recipe for success as they start conference play.
Ohio State opens their Big 10 schedule on Tuesday night against Purdue.