Ohio State overmatched visiting Marshall to win, 111-70, in a battle of unbeatens on Friday night. A strong first-half performance coupled with an equally impressive second-half showing by the Buckeyes (6-0) proved to be too much for the Thundering Herd (4-1).
OSU junior center Trevor Thompson came off the bench early and delivered with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the first half. Senior forward Marc Loving, meanwhile, followed up a 19-point performance vs. Jackson State on Nov. 23 with 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds against Marshall. He is now the 53rd Buckeye in school history to record 1,000 career points and now has seven career double-doubles.
"Offense was something that we really wanted to polish up on," Loving said of the team's prolific shooting. "Throughout the season so far, we've really created our identity on the defensive end. So, just picking up our pace and just moving the ball from one side of the floor really opened up the court today."
The Buckeyes were ahead, 15-9, five minutes into the game before going on a 23-5 run to lead, 38-14, at the 9:16 mark. Thompson had eight points during the stretch while junior guard Kam Williams knocked down two three-pointers.
The Herd trimmed its deficit to 15 when junior guard Jon Elmore hit a trey with 15:03 left in the second half. The Scarlet and Gray, however, used a 14-2 run to regain a commanding 81-54 advantage.
"Plain and simple, we challenged shots," Matta said of what sparked that second-half run. "(Marshall) had four threes in that first four minutes and we never even had a hand close to them and that was the major emphasis. We got to at least put a hand up and try to make them miss and we kept telling them that if we rebound the basketball, good things are going to happen at the other end."
As a team, Ohio State shot 45 of 82 from the field (54.9 percent) and had 61 total rebounds compared to Marshall’s 32 boards.
"Last game, we gave up too many offensive rebounds," Thompson said. "The emphasis in practice was just doing a lot of box-out drills, doing a lot of rebounding drills. That's the biggest thing we wanted to do was crash the boards and keep them off the glass and stuff like that."
The Buckeyes also dished out 22 assists compared to committing 10 turnovers.
In addition to Loving’s 20 and Thompson’s 15, four other Buckeyes scored in the double figures. Sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle and freshman center Micah Potter each had 12, junior forward Jae’Sean Tate had 20 and Williams poured in 17.
Potter also grabbed 12 rebounds to record his first double-double in his college career.
Ohio State now goes on the road for the second time this year when it takes on Virginia on Nov. 30 in the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge.