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Dec. 21, 2015

A.J. Harris had a career-high six points in the win vs. No. 4 Kentucky.

OSU Notes Mercer Notes |   Big Ten Notes 2015-16 Schedule

Preview: Coach Matta  |  Preview: Trevor Thompson & Keita Bates-Diop
 
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The Ohio State Buckeyes (6-5) vs. Mercer (9-2)

Date: Dec. 22, 2015
Site: Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time: 9 p.m.
Television: ESPNU
Talent: Jim Barbar (Play-By-Play)
Craig Robinson (Expert Analysis)
None (Sideline)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93/XM 196
Local Radio: WBNS-FM 97.1, AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (Expert Anelysis)

Starting Five
•    Ohio State has shot better from the field than its opponent in 10 of 11 games this season and is 6-5 to date. Ohio State outshot 23 opponents a year ago and was 23-0 in those games. In the Matta era, the Buckeyes have outshot foes 296 times and are 268-28 in those games (.905).
•    Opponents are shooting 75.5 percent (145-192) from the foul line against the Buckeyes, the 11th best nationally. Hawaii foes are shooting 78.4 percent to lead the country. Only one power five conference team is among the Top 20 in free throw percentage defense–Ohio State at No. 11.
•    Thad Matta has coached 404 games at Ohio State, the third most in school history. Harold G. Olsen (1923-46) and Fred Taylor (1959-76), have reached 400 or more games at Ohio State. Olsen coached 456 (259-197) and Taylor 455 (297-158).
•    Currently, Matta has the second longest tenure in the Big Ten with 12 years on the sidelines in Columbus. Tom Izzo at Michigan State has been with the Spartans over the last 21 seasons.
•    Streaks: Marc Loving has made at least one 3-pointer in 10 of 11 games this season … Loving has scored 10 or more points in 10 of 11 games as well … JaQuan Lyle leads Ohio State with 50 assists with at least four helpers in six games … as a team Ohio State has rejected at least four opposing shots in 10 of 11 games this season.       

Matta Owns 11 Wins vs. Top 5 Foes at OSU
Over Thad Matta’s tenure in Columbus (2005-present), the Buckeyes have defeated 11 opponents ranked among the Top 5 in the weekly Associated Press Poll. The most recent win was a 74-67 win over No. 4 Kentucky at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Dec. 19, 2015. That game marked the second time an unranked Matta team knocked off a Top 5 foe. The other was his first win over a Top 5 foe while coaching the Buckeyes, a 65-64 win over No. 1 and previously undefeated Illinois March 6, 2005 in the regular season finale for both teams in Columbus. Matta’s Buckeyes have knocked off the nation’s No. 1 team twice, No. 2 three times, No. 3 twice, No. 4 twice and No. 5 twice. Ohio State has four home wins vs. Top 5 in the Matta era, two true road wins and five neutral site victories.   

Matta’s 11 wins vs. Top 5 Opponents
Date    Opponent     AP Rank     Score OSU-Opp
3/6/05    Illinois    No. 1    65-64
2/25/07    Wisconsin    No. 1    49(2)-48
3/11/07    (1) Wisconsin    No. 3    66(1)-49
3/24/07    (2) vs. Memphis    No. 5    92(1)-76
11/29/12    (3) Duke    No. 3    85(2)-63
3/4/12    @Michigan St.     No. 5    72(10)-70
3/24/12    (4) vs. Syracuse    No. 2    77(7)-70
1/13/13    Michigan    No. 2    56(15)-53
2/24/13    Michigan St.    No. 4    68(18)-60
3/5/13    @Indiana    No. 2    67(14)-58
12/19/15    (5) vs. Kentucky    No. 4    74-67
(1)-Big Ten Tournament, United Center, Chicago
(2)-NCAA South Regional Finals, Alamo Dome San Antonio
(3)-Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Value City Arena, Columbus
(4)-NCAA East Regional Finals, TD Garden, Boston
(5)-CBSSports Classic, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Buckeyes Seldom Rejected
In 11 games this season, opponents have blocked just 21 of Ohio State’s 619 field goal attempts, tied for the 17th fewest in the country. Ohio State, which did not block a shot in its game vs. Connecticut, has blocked 66 of its 636 opponent shot attempts, tied for 17th most nationally. Ohio State opponents have rejected just 3.3 percent of the Buckeyes shot attempts while Ohio State swats 10.4 percent of its foes attempts. The Buckeyes are tied for first in the Big Ten in average blocks per game with 6.0.

Ohio State in The Big Ten
Marc Loving is 11th in scoring among Big Ten Conference players with 15.5 points per game, which leads the Buckeyes. Jae’Sean Tate is tied for the No. 7 spot in rebounding with 7.0 boards a game. JaQuan Lyle is No. 8 in assists with an average of 4.5 helpers a game. Daniel Giddens is No. 4 in the league in blocks per game at 2.2 a game while Trevor Thompson is No. 10 in rejections with 1.4 a game. Loving is fifth in minutes per game (34.6).   

Matta Reaches Career, Ohio State History
Thad Matta has made a habit of achieving records and milestones over his coaching career, which spans 16 years. After a season at Butler, three at Xavier and the last 12 in Columbus, Matta coached his 500th career game as a head coach Dec. 13 vs. Morehead State. As an Ohio State head coach, the 13th in the history of the program, Matta set the all-time wins record, surpassing Fred Taylor’s 297 career victories over 18 seasons from 1959-1976, with a 79-73 win vs. Minnesota March 12, 2015 in Chicago. The Minnesota victory also gave him his 400th career win (407-128). Matta teams have never failed to win at least 20 games. His Ohio State teams have averaged 27.2 victories over his 11 full years in Columbus. He coached in his 400th career game (304-98) at Ohio State when the Buckeyes defeated VMI Dec. 5 (89-62).  

Matta’s Career Game Milestone
100th Game  11/25/03 L at Ball State, 63-75, 3rd year at Xavier
200th Game  11/28/05 W vs. Virginia Tech, 69-58, 2nd year at OSU
300th Game  2/28/09 L at Purdue, 50-75, 5th year at OSU
400th Game  1/21/12 W at Nebraska, 79-45, 8th year at OSU
500th Game  12/13/14 W vs. Morehead St., 87-71, 11th year at OSU

Ohio State All-Time Record Setting Wins
Win 297 3/4/15 at Penn State (77-67), tied Fred Taylor for OSU
    career wins record, 11th year at OSU
Win 298 3/12/15 vs. Minnesota (79-73), sets Ohio State record for
    career wins, 11th year at OSU

Career Record Per 100 Games
100 Game Rcd    79-21 (.790)
200 Game Rcd.         151-49 (.755)         2nd 100 gms.          72-28 (.720)
300 Game Rcd.         225-75 (.750)         3rd 100 gms.          74-26 (.740)
400 Game Rcd.         309-91 (.773)         4th 100 gms.          84-16 (.840)
500 Game Rcd.         385-115 (.770)       5th 100 gms.          76-24 (.760)
Career Record    407-130 (.758)       6th 100 gms.          22-15 (.595)

Career Win Milestones
100th Win, 80-70 vs. Louisville (3/18/04),
    TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, Fla., 3rd year at Xavier
200th Win, 65-47 at Northwestern (2/13/2008), Welsh Ryan Arena
    Evanston, Ill., 4th year at Ohio State
300th Win, 64(2)-35 vs. Texas-Pan American (12/3/2012),
    Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio, 8th year at Ohio State
400th Win, 79-73 vs. Minnesota (3/12/15), United Center, Chicago
    11th year at Ohio State

Ohio State Career Win Milestones
100th Win at OSU, 63-54(17) vs. Michigan State (3/9/08),
    Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
200th Win at OSU, 74(2)-66 at South Carolina (12/17/11),
    Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, S.C.
300th Win at OSU, 76-54 vs. Mount St. Mary’s (11/15/15),
    Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State Career Game Milestones
100th Game at OSU, W 85(1)-84(25) vs. Tennessee (3/22/07),
    Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, 3rd year at Ohio State
200th Game at OSU, L 57(9)-60(4) vs. Purdue (2/17/10),
    Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio, 6th Year at Ohio State
300th Game at OSU, L 74(11)-55(8) at Illinois (1/5/13)
    State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois, 9th year at Ohio State
400th Game at OSU, W 89-62 vs. VMI (12/5/15)
    Value City Arena, , Columbus, Ohio, 12th year at Ohio State

Ohio State Career Coaching Records (10 or more years)
Thad Matta    2005-              12               305-99 (.755)
Fred Taylor          1959-76          18               297-158 (.653)
Harold G. Olsen       1923-46          24               259-197 (.568)
Eldon Miller              1977-86          10               174-120 (.592)

Last Time vs. The Bears
Ohio State and Mercer are playing for the second time. The previous meeting was Dec. 22, 2004 in Columbus. The Buckeyes defeated the Bears 102-77 in that meeting. Terence Dials, who was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall, led five Buckeyes in double figures with a game-high 29 points. He also posted a double-double with 13 rebounds. J.J. Sullinger (16), Ivan Harris (13), Je’Kel Foster (11) and Tony Stockman (10) also reached double digits offensively in Thad Matta’s first season in Columbus.

Scouting Mercer
The Bears enter the game with the Buckeyes with an overall record of 9-2. Losses on the year were at Davidson, 77-71, and at Auburn, 78-71. Mercer was on a five-game win streak prior to road games at Auburn and at Arkansas (W, 69-66, Dec. 19) and at Ohio State. The Bears are led offensively by senior guard Jestin Lewis (12.8 ppg.) and sophomore forward Stephon Jelks (12.0 ppg.). Jelks is the leader on the boards with 8.7 rpg.

Ohio State vs. the Southern Conference
The Buckeyes are 13-1 vs. current members of the Southern Conference after a win over VMI earlier this month in Columbus. The Buckeyes downed the Keydets 89-62 Dec. 5 at Value City Arena. Jae’Sean Tate (19), Marc Loving (17), Trevor Thompson (13) and Keita Bates-Diop (12) each reached double figures offensively with Loving and Thompson each adding 10 rebounds.
 
Ohio State vs. the Southern Conference
Chattanooga    4-1
The Citadel
Furman    1-0
Mercer    1-0
North Carolina Greensboro
Samford    2-0
Virginia-Military    4-0
Western Carolina    1-0
Wofford
Totals    13-1

For more on the Buckeyes click on the Ohio State Notes link above.