Nov. 17, 2016
Ohio State (3-0) looked more energized after barely surviving North Carolina Central earlier in the week and won the game despite the efforts of Rodney Bullock, who was 5 for 9 from beyond the 3-point line and scored 27 points for Providence (1-1).
Trevor Thompson added 12 points for the Buckeyes in their opener of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an eight-game series featuring Big Ten teams against the Big East.
Indiana transfer Emmitt Holt scored 11 for Providence, and Jalen Lindsey booked 10 as the Friars as a team shot just 34 percent from the floor. The Buckeyes made exactly half their shots.
Providence, searching for an identity this season after the loss of its two best players to the NBA, couldn’t overcome the Ohio State lead but was still in the game in the final few minutes.
Bullock closed it to 50-49 at the 10-minute mark with a 3-pointer, but the Buckeyes went on a 9-0 run over the next 1:28 to lengthen the lead again. The Friars pulled within two at the 4-minute mark with an Isiah Jackson 3-pointer, but a series of fouls put Buckeyes at the line and allowed them to build the lead and hang onto it.
The Buckeyes led the initially cold-shooting Friars 38-28 at the half, highlighted by a 9-2 run that erased a 17-16 Providence lead, and punctuated with a Keita Bates-Diop dunk off a steal and a 3-pointer from Lyle. That’s the last time the Friars would lead.
Providence: The departures of superstar Kris Dunn and sophomore Ben Bentil to the NBA left Providence coach Ed Cooley without a proven, experienced player around which he could build this year’s team, although Bullock carried the load Thursday night. Some of his teammates are going to have to do more for the Friars to be successful.
Ohio State: After struggling mightily against less talented North Carolina Central on Monday, Ohio State triumphed in their first true test of the season. The Buckeyes were able to hold off Providence’s scrappy second-half charges and keep the lead.
Providence: Returns home to play Grambling State on Saturday.
Ohio State: Plays Western Carolina at home Monday night.
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