University of Delaware Men's Basketball Hangs Tough with No. 3 Ohio State, Falls 76-64
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State
forward LaQuinton Ross score a game-high 19 points while center Amir
Williams added a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds as the
third-ranked Buckeyes held off a pesky effort from the
University of Delaware to post a 76-64 men's basketball victory over
the Blue Hens in a BlackRock Gotham Classic game Wednesday night at Value City Arena.
Ohio State remained perfect on the
season by improving to 11-0, with all but one of those games taking
place in Columbus. Delaware, playing its third top-three ranked team in
school history, dropped its third straight game
while falling to 5-6 on the campaign.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. chipped in 14
points, Aaron Craft added 12 and Amedeo Della Valle recorded 10 for the
Buckeyes, who put five players in double figures. The Blue Hens limited
Ohio State to just 40.7 percent shooting from
the field, but the Buckeyes held a 46-30 rebounding advantage and went
22 of 32 from the foul line.
Blue Hen senior Devon Saddler led
Delaware in scoring for the second straight game by posting 17 points
off the bench, while junior Jarvis Threatt contributed an all-around
effort of 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Kyle Anderson had nine points on three triples for Delaware, while
Davon Usher chipped in with eight points and seven boards.
Delaware shot 43.9 percent from the
floor and knocked down seven three-pointers, but was hurt by a 7 of 15
performance from the free throw line.
"Congratulations to Ohio State, I though they played a terrific ballgame tonight,"
said eighth-year Blue Hen head coach Monté Ross. "I thought our guys
stood toe to toe with what I'll say is the best team in the country.
We didn't shrink in what was a tremendous atmosphere, but were
uncharacteristic from the foul line. Coming in we realized how good
defensively Ohio State is, but our guys are confident and think they can
drive to the basket on anybody."
Delaware jumped out to an early 9-3
lead on a reverse layup by Usher but Ohio State rallied, as the
Buckeyes used a 7-0 run to go in front 13-12 on a Ross layup at the
13:03 mark of the first half.
Consecutive three-pointers by
Devonne Pinkard and Saddler put the Blue Hens back up three, while a
baseline jumper by Marvin King-Davis gave Delaware a 26-25 lead with
three and a half minutes remaining. However the Blue
Hens would go scoreless the rest of the way, as the Buckeyes scored the
final 12 points of the period to take a 37-26 advantage into the break.
A Threatt layup and an Anderson
three-pointer made it a nine-point game early in the second half, but
Ohio State answered with five straight points to go up 45-31 with 15:50
to play. Delaware got back within 10 when Anderson
knocked down another long-range jumper, before the Buckeyes used
another five-point surge to take a 55-40 advantage at the 11:36 mark.
After Delaware cut the deficit to
nine at 63-54 following an Usher layup with 5:57 to play, the Buckeyes
again scored five straight to go back up 14 with 4:25 remaining. The
Blue Hens made a final push as Carl Baptiste converted
a tip-in before Saddler scored twice, making it a 70-62 game with 1:47
left. But Smith Jr. buried a baseline jumper and added two free throws
on the Buckeyes' next possession to put the game away for Ohio State.
Delaware will look to get back to the .500 mark on Saturday
when the Blue Hens face Bryant at approximately 9:30 p..m at Madison
Square Garden in their final game of the BlackRock Gotham Classic.