The Upside- Ohio State | Syracusefan.com

The Upside- Ohio State

SWC75

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- There have been many great victories in the Boeheim Era, (and I’ve seen the whole thing), many of them under difficult circumstances. This was certainly one of them. We had a shaky start to both the season and to this game. We were playing a team that, by the NCAA’s latest goofy measuring stick was the #1 team in the country in their own place and we were going 5 on 8. Yet we won and by double figures. It was the first victory over a non-conference team on their home court since 12/20/08 when we beat Memphis in their place 72-65. Now we’ve got something to brag about to the NCAA committee.

- The team showed the intestinal fortitude that will be needed to negotiate a difficult schedule where we will be dukeing it out, (literally), with some of the best teams in the country. They didn’t look like they had it in New York and the other games didn’t eman much. This game meant a great deal and we passed the test.

- The list of heroes is long, since we have to rely on so many players with all the foul problems. They seemed to take turns showing what they can do for the team, like a dance troupe where everyone gets a solo. Let’s start with our main man, Tyus Battle, who first got our offense going in the first half with his drives to the basket. He led the team with 20 tough points on 6 for 10 from the field and 7 for 8 from the foul line. His one three pointer was the capper on a 5-0 run that gave us a 64-52 lead with 4:35 left after that bizarre three pointer with a flop foul situation that got them to within 7. It was pretty obvious who was going to win after that. Tyus also had 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.

- Elijah Hughes spearheaded the 11-0 run that gave us control of the game at 55-45 by scoring a three point play and then a three point shot. He wound up with 18 points, including 4 treys. He also had 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a block.

- Oshae Brissett seemed to be in a New York style funk at the beginning of the game. In fact we started to get back into it when he had to go to the bench with three fouls. But he came out in the second half determined to get to the ball and the basket and did so. He tied the game at 31, passed to Frank Howard for a three that made it 34-31, made two free throws to give us a 36-33 lead and then made a three of his own to make it 39-33. He wound up with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a block despite playing only 25 minutes with foul trouble.

- Marek Dolezaj helped keep us in it with an 8 point first half, including 2 for 2 from the arc. Hopefully, it’s a sign that he realizes how much he can contribute to the team with his shot.

- Bourama Sidibe didn’t put up numbers but he solidified the center of the defense after Ohio State looked as if they were going to score at will. I don’t have the +/- stat for him but Matt Park said he had the best rating of anybody for either team when he fouled out.

- Paschal Chukwu was pulled after the first possession by Boeheim but in the second half he got some huge rebounds down the stretch, 9he led us with 7), and defended the basket well. State’s big, bad 6-9 270 center Kaleb Wesson was 1 for 8 from the field, thanks to Bourama and Paschal.

- Frank Howard only scored 8 points with 1 assist but he hit a couple of big threes and he ran the offense very well when we were protecting the lead down the stretch. He also solidified the perimeter defense that held OSU to 27% form three and prevented Wesson from getting the ball in favorable positons.

- But then he fouled out with 4:27 left and freshman Jalen Carey had to take over running the team in the final minutes. What would happen? Well, we had two turnovers – but not by him. We scored 8 and gave up 8 points. The last four of our points were free throws by Carey. No problem coach, we got this.

- But this team is all about defense. We didn’t play any in the beginning as the Buckeyes made four wide-open shots to take a 9-2 lead in the first 2:10. But they only scored 22 points in the remaining 17:50 of the half and 16 in the first 13:39 of the second half as we built up that 55-45 lead. Shooting can go hot and cold but you can always play good defense.

- We gave up only 15 baskets in the whole game, shooting 33%. If State hadn’t gone 26 for 35 from the line, it would have been a blow-out.

4-2 and with 25+ to go

LET’S GO ORANGE!
 

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