COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 23rd-ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team improved to 2-0 on the young, 2020-21 season with a 74-64 victory over UMass Lowell (1-2) Sunday afternoon. Senior Duane Washington Jr. led four Buckeyes in double figures with 21 points while senior Kyle Young and sophomore E.J. Liddell pulled down eight rebounds apiece.
“Give our guys a lot of credit for finishing the game and making the necessary plays when they needed to,” said fourth-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, though.”
Justice Sueing followed up his fine debut game with the Buckeyes – 19 points and eight rebounds Wednesday vs. Illinois State – with 15 points and six rebounds. C.J. Walker, who was 9-of-10 from the free throw line, added 13 points while Liddell chipped in 11. Freshmen Zed Key was solid off the bench with eight points and four rebounds.
UMass Lowell was led by guard Obadiah Noel with 15 points. Guards Anthony Blunt and Bryce Daley scored 11 points apiece.
Ohio State had to claw back from a five-point second-half deficit to pick up the win in the first-ever Ohio State men’s basketball game played at the Covelli Center, the lovely new home for Ohio State’s volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling and fencing teams that is located on the western edge of campus on Fred Taylor Drive. UMass Lowell played Illinois State in the venue on Saturday.
A technical foul was called on a Sueing drive into the lane that led to two C.J. Walker free throws in front of two more from Sueing to tie the score at 51-all and after the Buckeyes had trailed for nearly 7 minutes. Washington and Sueing each hit threes to keep the pressure on, but the River Hawks would not wilt playing its second game in 24 hours, keeping it no more than a four-point deficit for the next eight minutes.
A Washington three, his third of the half, with a minute to play gave Ohio State a 70-63 lead and the team then finished off the game.
The Buckeyes and the River Hawks, from the American East Conference, were tied at 33-all at halftime as neither team shot well from the field. UMass Lowell hit 35.7 percent of its shots but did hit on six three-point field goals, while the Buckeyes managed to shoot just 34.4 percent for the half with an 0-for-8 showing behind the arc.
For the game, Ohio State shot 40 pct. from the field but only 22.2 pct. from beyond the arc (4 of 18). UMass Lowell shot 37.5 pct. from the field for the game. Ohio State held a 41-31 rebounding advantage.
The Buckeyes next play on Wednesday, Dec. 2, with a 5 p.m. game against Morehead State University at Value City Arena.
Musa Jallow Update
Junior guard Musa Jallow did not play and instead stayed on the bench in a walking boot. Holtmann said after the game he found out after the tip that he had a lower leg issue and that something had happened in warmups.
Game Time Update
The Big Ten Conference announced today the Alabama A&M at Ohio State game, set for Saturday, Dec. 5, will be televised by the Big Ten Network and it will tip at 7 p.m. EST.