Dec. 21, 2001
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%^$Opponent Eastern Illinois
%^$Site Value City Arena (19,200)
%^$Game Time 8 p.m. (EST)
%^$TV ESPN Plus
%^$Local TV WBNS TV 10
%^$TV Talent Mike Gleason (Play-by-Play), Bill Hosket (Color)
%^$Radio OSU Radio Network (64 stations)
%^$Local Radio WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
%^$Radio Talent Paul Keels (P-by-P), Ron Stokes (Color)
%^$Ohio State Buckeyes
%^$Probable Starters (6-2)
%^$G 4 – Brent Darby, 6-1, Jr.
%^$G 21 – Boban Savovic, 6-5, Sr.
%^$G 13 – Brian Brown, 6-4, Sr.
%^$C 14 – Velimir Radinovic, 7-0, So.
%^$F 33 – Zach Williams, 6-7, So.
%^$Eastern Illinois Panthers
%^$Probable Starters (7-4)
%^$G 10 – Chris Herrera, 5-9, So.
%^$G 5 – Craig Lewis, 6-1, Jr.
%^$C 55 – Jesse Mackinson, 6-8, So.
%^$F 44 – Henry Domercant, 6-4, Jr.
%^$F 42 – Todd Bergman, 6-8, Sr.
%^$Buckeyes Hope to Halt Skid
%^$Ohio State has not lost three-consecutive games since the 1997-98 season, the first in Columbus for head coach Jim O’Brien. The Buckeyes were mired in a 17-game losing streak that first season before winning at Wisconsin 61-56 Feb. 25, 1998. Ohio State has lost back-to-back games seven times over the last four seasons, twice in 1998-99, four times in 2000-01 and once this year. The Buckeyes did not lose consecutive games in 1999-00.%^$
%^$EIU Faces Buckeyes for First Time
%^$Eastern Illinois University and Ohio State have never met in basketball. Ohio State has faced several members of the Ohio Valley Conference. The Buckeyes are 9-0 against OVC members with wins over Eastern Kentucky (3-0), Morehead State (1-0), Murray State (1-0), Tennessee Martin (1-0), Tennessee State (1-0) and Tennessee Tech (2-0).%^$
%^$Panthers Off to Hot Start behind Domercant
%^$Ohio State, facing a team nicknamed the Panthers for the second-consecutive game, will battle an Eastern Illinois squad fresh from an NCAA tournament appearance in 2001. EIU is off to a 7-4 start this season behind one of the most prolific scorers in the country, junior forward Henry Domercant. He is averaging nearly 24.3 points a game after leading his team in scoring in 10 of their 11 games. The Panthers finished with a 21-10 record in 2000-01, advancing to the school’s second Division I NCAA tournament. EIU fell to Arizona 101-76 in the Midwest Regional in Kansas City, Mo., in the 2001 NCAA Tournament.%^$
%^$Domercant Continues Scoring Prowess
%^$Henry Domercant, a native of Naperville, Ill., has scored 30 or more points in four games this season, including the three before a meeting with No. 22 Oklahoma Tuesday (a 109-50 Sooner victory). Domercant scored 40 points in the 94-78 home win over Loyola (Ill.), which included a school record 17-of-17 effort from the free throw line. He is an 87 percent free throw shooter on the season (61-70). He also leads the team in rebounds 72 (6.5 rpg.), 3-pointers made and attempted (34-91, .374) and steals (16).%^$
%^$Samuels in 22nd year at EIU
%^$Eastern Illinois head coach Rick Samuels is off to a 7-4 start with the Panthers in his 22nd season at the Charleston, Ill., school. He has a career record of 320-300. He has taken a pair of teams to the NCAA tournament. The 1991-92 squad lost to Indiana 94-55 in the West Regional in Boise, Idaho, and then faced Arizona last season in the Midwest Regional in Kansas City, a 101-76 loss.%^$
%^$Buckeyes Limit Foes’ Long Range Shooting
%^$Five of the eight teams Ohio State has played this season have been held at or below 25 percent shooting from 3-point range. None of the five connected on more than four 3-pointers. Four opponents have not reached 17 percent shooting from long range.%^$
Opponent Pct. 3FG-A%^$Winthrop 16.7 3-18%^$N.C. State 14.8 4-27%^$UNC-Wilmington 15.4 2-13%^$Santa Clara 25.0 4-16%^$at Louisville 14.3 4-28%^$
%^$O’Brien 29-3 in VCA vs. Non-Conference Foes
%^$In four seasons at Value City Arena, Jim O’Brien and the Buckeyes have a combined record of 29-3 (.906) against non-conference opponents. Ohio State was 7-0 in 1998-99, 8-1 in 1999-00 and 8-1 in 2000-01 in non-Big Ten home games. The Buckeyes are 6-1 at home this year. Losses have come to Notre Dame (59-57) in the 1999 Preseason NIT (11/16), Kansas (69-68) Dec. 23, 2000 and Pittsburgh Dec. 19, 2001 (62-55). O’Brien is 36-5 in non-conference home games in five seasons at Ohio State, which includes a 7-2 record his first season at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes are 20-4 (.833) in Big Ten play at home at VCA.%^$
%^$Savovic, Brown Climbing 3-point Chart
%^$Boban Savovic is tied for ninth on the Top 10 list for career 3-pointers made with 82. He has connected on 17-of-34 3-point shots this season for a shooting percentage of 50.0 percent. Savovic is tied with Jim Jackson (1990-92). Brian Brown, who started the season 10th all-time, is just outside the Top 10 with 78. He has made 5-of-24 on the season (.208). Brent Darby could crack the Top 10 this season as well. He has made 67-of-181 (.370) for his OSU career. Sean Connolly has made 118-of-296 career 3-pointers, which includes a 64-of-165 (.388) long range shooting effort as a freshman at Providence. At Ohio State, Connolly had connected on 54-of-131 treys (.412).%^$
%^$Brown Claims Top 10 Spot in Assists
%^$Brian Brown passed former teammate Scoonie Penn on the Ohio State career assists list with five against IUPUI. Brown is now 10th all-time with 298. Carter Scott (1978-81) is ninth with 326.%^$
%^$Dials’ 13 Boards Most for Freshman Since ’97
%^$Buckeye freshman Terence Dials grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the loss to Louisville. That total is the most for a freshman since Jon Sanderson grabbed 14 against Toledo Dec. 3, 1997 in his freshman season. Sanderson played two seasons at Ohio State before transferring to Ohio University following the 1999 Final Four season.%^$
%^$Noting the Game vs. Pittsburgh
The Buckeyes are 49-7 in Value City Arena since it opened forthe 1998-99 season.%^$
Brent Darby kept the 3-point streak alive with his field goalat the 5:52 mark in the second half. Ohio State has made at leastone 3-point basket in 289-consecutive games.%^$
Ohio State opened the first eight minutes of the second half ona 20-6 run behind the shooting of the OSU big men. Centers VelimirRadinovic, Terence Dials and forward Zach Williams combined for11-of-18 from the field for the game.%^$
With his 12-point performance Brian Brown has 973 points in hiscareer. He is on pace to become the 40th Ohio State player to reach1,000 points.%^$
Ohio State opponents have turned the ball over 132 times ineight games for an average of 16.5 a contest.%^$
In four seasons at Value City Arena, Jim O’Brien and theBuckeyes have a combined record of 29-3 against non-conferenceopponents and a 20-4 mark against Big Ten foes.%^$
The seven-point loss to Pitt is the largest margin of defeat fothe Buckeyes at home in the four-year history of Value City Arena.The Buckeyes have lost seven home games by a total of 15 points, anaverage losing margin of 2.14 per game.%^$
Ohio State had not met a Pitt squad since Dec. 6, 1961 when theBuckeyes, ranked No. 1 nationally, traveled to Pitt and won, 99-79.Ohio State leads the all-time series 15-10, which includes a 9-5record in Columbus.%^$
Ohio State has faced every team in the Big East Conference atleast once. Of all the Big East squads, the Buckeyes have faced thePanthers the most. OSU has a 51-37 record against Big Eastteams.%^$
The Buckeyes have played 19 games on Dec. 19 in the history ofthe program. Ohio State has come out on top 10 times.%^$
%^$Brown Holds Team Lead in Scoring
%^$Senior Brian Brown owns the team lead in scoring following a 12-point effort against Pitt. He tops four Buckeyes in double digits in a well-balanced offensive attack. Brown is averaging 13.6 points per game followed by Boban Savovic with 11.8. Brent Darby (11.6 ppg.) is just ahead of sophomore Zach Williams (11.1).%^$
%^$Ohio State Tops Big Ten in Several Areas
%^$Ohio State is among the top two Big Ten teams in several league statistical categories. The Buckeyes are No. 1 in scoring margin (+17.1), field goal percentage (.492), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.232) and rebounding defense (30.2). Ohio State is No. 2 in scoring defense (57.4) and assists (17.38).%^$
%^$Ohio State Shooting Well From Field
%^$The Buckeyes have made 209-of-425 shots from the field this season for a shooting percentage of .492. Ohio State shot 50 pct. (34-68) in the win over Santa Clara. The Buckeyes have tied or eclipsed the .500 mark in five of the eight games this season.%^$
%^$Buckeyes Close on 1,000,000 in Attendance
%^$In the fourth season of play in Value City Arena, the Buckeye men’s basketball team has drawn an average of 17,436 per game for a total of 976,420.%^$
%^$Value City Arena Serves Buckeyes Well
%^$Ohio State has played 56 home games at Value City Arena since the facility opened for the 1998-99 season. Those fans have been instrumental in the Buckeyes’ 49-7 (.875) home record at Value City Arena.%^$
%^$Buckeyes Enter 103rd Season
%^$Ohio State has a record of 81-22 (.786) in season-opening games over the 103 years of men’s basketball at OSU. The Buckeyes are 85-18 (.825) in home openers and 49-53 (.480) in road openers. Ohio State did not play a road game in 1900-01. This is the 90th season of Big Ten membership in men’s basketball for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 49-40 (.551) in conference openers, 60-29 (.674) in league home openers and 33-56 (.371) in the first road game of the season in Big Ten play.%^$
%^$Foul Line Familiar, Comfortable for Connolly
%^$Junior Sean Connolly has made 85 percent (106-125) of his foul shots in three seasons of college basketball. He was 60-of-70 (.857) as a freshman at Providence in 1998-99. As a Buckeye sophomore last year, he drilled 42-of-50 free throws (.840) and was a remarkable 27-of-28 (.964) in Big Ten games. He had a stretch of 25-consecutive made foul shots in the conference season a year ago. He is 4-of-5 from the line this season.%^$
%^$Senior Class Continues Successful Run
%^$Ohio State seniors Brian Brown, Will Dudley and Boban Savovic have been a part of three of the more successful seasons in Ohio State history. As freshmen, the trio helped the squad reach the 1999 Final Four. As sophomores, they were a part of a Big Ten Championship team and another trip to the NCAA tournament. As juniors, they were instrumental in taking Ohio State to its third-consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and 20-win season. Combined, these seniors have been a part of 76 wins (29 defeats), three NCAA tournaments, three 20-win seasons, the 1999 Final Four and the 2000 Big Ten Co-Championship. Another senior, Tim Martin, did not play for OSU until the 2000-01 season. Martin, a transfer from Kent State, sat out the 1999-00 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.%^$
%^$A 4th-consecutive NCAA trip, 20-win season?
%^$The Buckeyes have been to 21 NCAA Tournaments in the history of the program, including the past three. No Ohio State coach has ever led four-consecutive teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes have made three-consecutive trips four times (1944-46, 1960-62, 1990-92 and 1999-01). Ohio State also has a streak of three-consecutive 20-win seasons. The only time the program enjoyed four-consecutive 20-win campaigns occurred from 1960-63 with 25, 27, 26 and 20 wins, respectively. Ohio State won the national championship in 1960 and won four of five-consecutive Big Ten titles during that span.%^$
%^$Brown Close to 1,000 Career Points
%^$Ohio State senior guard Brian Brown should reach the 1,000-point mark in his Buckeye career before the Big Ten Conference season gets underway in January. Brown will become the 40th player in Ohio State history to reach 1,000 points. He has scored 973 points in 105 career games for an average of 9.3 points a contest.%^$
%^$Summer in Europe
%^$Ohio State spent 16 days (Aug. 20-Sept. 4) traveling through Italy, Switzerland, France and The Netherlands in preparation for the 2001-02 season. The trip offered Ohio State’s big men an opportunity to play competitively while allowing the guards to experiment with lineups during the six-game schedule. Ohio State won all six contests with the guards leading the way. Senior Boban Savovic averaged 17.5 points (105 total) to lead all scorers. Senior Brian Brown and junior Brent Darby each scored 96 points for 16.0 averages. Sean Connolly scored 10.5 points a contest and was the only Buckeye to connected on at least one 3-pointer in each of the six games. Sophomore Zach Williams registered a pair of double-doubles and led the Buckeyes with 7.3 rebounds a game.%^$
%^$Buckeyes to Play in 2003 Maui Invitational
%^$The Maui Invitational will draw attractive fields for the following three seasons. Chaminade, the NCAA Division II school from Honolulu, will serve as host as it has every year since 1984. The 2002 field includes: Arizona State, Gonzaga, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Utah and Virginia. The 2003 participants are: California, Dayton, Florida State, Hawaii, Ohio State, San Diego State and Villanova. The 2004 field, which could be subject to change pending NCAA legislation regarding early season tournaments, is: Iowa, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas and Stanford.%^$
%^$Ohio State Successful on This Date in History
%^$Ohio State has played on this date in history 32 times, winning 22. The Buckeyes have won the last four games on this date.%^$
%^$Ohio State Among Attendance Leaders
%^$The Buckeyes have been among the Top 7 teams nationally in average home attendance in each of the last three years. Ohio State averaged 17,540 fans in 2000-01 to rank No. 4, its highest ranking in team history. The Buckeyes have been a draw on the road as well. Ohio State has been among the Top 10 in NCAA all-games attendance the last three seasons, including a No. 2 ranking in 1999.%^$