Everybody Thankful After OSU Win Over VMI
By John Porentas
COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 3 Ohio State (5-0) defeated VMI (3-2) by a final of 107-74 on Thanksgiving eve at the Shottenstein Center. After the game, almost everybody had something for which to be thankful.
VMI Head Coach Duggar Baucom was candid about what he was thankful for. When asked what his team got out of the appearance at Value City Arenao Baucom gave a brief answer: "85,000.00 dollars" he said.
It wasn't very much more complicated for the Buckeyes.
Head Coach Thad Matta was dutifully thankful for the win, but he was also thnakful for the opportunity to win while working on some of the shortcomings he sees in his young team. One of the things that made him thankful was the opportunity for his team to face an uptempo opponent like VMI.
"I couldn't agree more that the different things we've seen have been good for us," said Matta.
OSU sophomore center Jared Sullinger scored 17 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the floor. Sullinger's gaudy field goal percentage was the result of one more thing that Matta was happy the Buckeyes were able to work on, entry passes to the post.
Senior guard William Buford led all scorers with 23 points. Buford has had a slow start shooting this season, but hit 10 of 16 from the field including 2 for 2 from three point range. It was another thing for which Matta was greatful.
"I thought he was very aware of what he was doing," said Matta. "He also had some great drive in his legs. That's one of the things with William that we've really been working on, is getting him to drive his legs and get his legs into his shot. To see him put the ball in the basket tonight was good."
The Buckeyes led by as many as 20 in the first half, but saw some of that lead evaporate when VMI hit three-consecutive three point shots late in the first half. OSU led 57-44 at the intermission, then blew the game open early in the second half with a 21-4 run to make the score 78-48 with 12:58 remaining. OSU led by as many as 40 at 91-51.
Five Buckeyes scored in double figures. In addition to Buford and Sullinger, sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas scored 11, sophomore guard Aaron Craft 13, and sophomore forward J. D. Weatherspoon 10.
Ohio State outrebounded VMI 47-24. The Buckeyes held a huge edge in scoring down low, putting up 68 points in the paint while VMI managed just 24.
Overall, the Buckeyes shot a sizzling 67.7 percent from the field while holding VMI to 38.5 percent shooting.
The Buckeyes will practice tomorrow on Thanksgiving day at 1:00 PM in preparation for their game Friday at 6:00 PM against Valparaiso. That game will air on the Big Ten Network. Following practice, the Buckeyes will have Thanksgiving dinner at Thad Matta's house.
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