MBK: Ohio State (9-0) 83, UNC Asheville (4-8) 59
December 22, 2008
Value City Arena // Attendance: 13,317
Ohio State extended its lead in the all-time series at 2-0 against UNC Ashville and is now 8-0 against teams from the Big South Conference. The last meeting between the Bulldogs and the Buckeyes was March 18 of last season when the two teams met in the opening round of the NIT. Ohio State won the game 84-66 and went on to win the NIT for the first time since 1986.
The Buckeye win streak now stands at 14-consecutive games, which is the longest streak in the nation. Ohio State has also won 12-consecutive home games. The win moves the Scarlet and Gray’s record to 29-3 in December under Thad Matta.
Kyle Madsen and William Buford made their first career starts for the Scarlet and Gray on Monday night. Madsen is in his third season in Columbus after transferring from Vanderbilt and Buford is a freshman from Toledo, Ohio.
Ohio State jumped out to an early 11-4 lead on the strength of consecutive 3-point baskets by Jon Diebler, Evan Turner and Buford.
Freshman B.J. Mullens posted a new season high for points on Monday night racking up 19. The freshman posted 13 in the first half, topping his previous high mark of 11 set against Notre Dame on Dec. 6. He also had a career-high three blocks.
Ohio State outscored UNC Asheville 40-20 in the paint and won the battle on the boards 44-32 over the Bulldogs. The Buckeye big men, Mullens and Dallas Lauderdale combined to go 13-of-17 from the field with 30 points and 15 rebounds.
The Bulldogs closed the gap to 27-21 with 4:09 remaining in the first half after a jumper by John Williams. Ohio State would stretch its lead with a 10-3 run over the final 3:44 of the first to give the Scarlet and Gray a 37-24 halftime advantage. The Scarlet and Gray rode that momentum into the second half and extend the run to 14-3.
The Buckeyes are undefeated in games that they hold a halftime lead (8-0) this season. Under Matta, Ohio State holds a record of 94-11 when leading at the break.
Buford had a career night in his first career start, setting career highs in points (16), rebounds (7) and blocks (2). Buford also tied his season high in 3-point baskets with two. The Toledo, Ohio, native connected on both of his free throw attempts and is now 9-of-10 from the line this season.
Ohio State posted 30-plus points in each half Monday. The Buckeyes have recorded 30 points or more in 13-of-18 halves this season.
The win Monday marks the 12th-consecutive victory in Columbus for the Buckeyes. This is the second-longest home win streak for Ohio State under head coach Thad Matta after his 2006-07 team won 29-consecutive home games.
Ohio State has won the last 54 games in Columbus vs. unranked opponents, 49 of which have been played at Value City Arena.
The Buckeye bench had their best night of the season posting 40 points against the Bulldogs. Ohio State also outscored UNC Asheville on the fast break 10-0. The Scarlet and Gary have only allowed 13 fast-break points in its last three games.
Matta is 65-1 vs. unranked opponents in Columbus since taking over the Ohio State program in 2004-05. The only loss was an overtime setback to Minnesota Jan. 19, 2005 (60-56).
Ohio State has not lost in Columbus as a ranked team to an unranked non-conference opponent since a 76-67 setback to South Alabama Dec. 16, 1980, a span of 41 games. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 7 in that game.
Matta improved his career record to 216-66 in his ninth season as a head coach … He is 114-35 in his fifth year at Ohio State … Matta has started the season 9-0 in two seasons at Ohio State (2005-06, 2008-09).
Ohio State is 334-95 all time when ranked in the AP Top 25.
Ohio State is 42-3 at VCA when ranked among the AP Top 25. The Buckeyes have won the last 29 games at VCA as a Top 25 team.
Ohio State has a record of 59-4 vs. non-conference teams at Value City Arena and is 97-19 overall at the VCA.
Seven different players have scored in double figures at least once this season. Turner leads the team with seven games, while Diebler and Lighty have tallied 10 or more points in four games. Buford now has two.
The Buckeyes are 5-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points.
Ohio State is 103-4 under Thad Matta when leading with five minutes to play in the second half.