COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s postseason time, Big Ten style. Winners of three straight, No. 15 Ohio State heads north as the No. 3 seed in the 2018 Big Ten Tournament for a date with second-seeded and seventh-ranked Johns Hopkins on Thursday at 6:30 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Should the Buckeyes advance, they’d face the winner of the Maryland-Rutgers semifinal in the B1G championship game on Saturday night.
ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
– Ohio State is 8-6 on the season and finished 3-2 in the Big Ten following last Saturday’s 10-7 triumph over then-No. 10 Rutgers at Ohio Stadium.
– The Buckeyes have been dominant in the face-off X over the last three weeks, going 45-of-64 (.703). That effort has been led by freshman Justin Inacio, who ranks third in the conference overall, winning 60.1 percent of the draws he’s taken this season.
– Thanks in large part to Inacio’s play in the X, Ohio State’s offense has generated 30 or more shots in each of the last five games. Tre Leclaire is the team’s leading scorer with 35 points (25G, 10A) while three others — Jack Jasinski (16G, 11A, 27 points), Jackson Reid (21G, 5A, 26 points) and Colin Chell (13G, 7A, 20 points) — have all surpassed the 20-point mark.
– Chell has been hot as of late, registering nine points in wins over then-No. 1 Maryland and then-No. 9 Rutgers. The senior from Bel Air, Md. is one point away from 100 in his career.
– Jack Jasinski has a point in 11 straight games and also finished the regular season with nine points in the last two games (3G, 6A).
– Short stick defensive midfielder Ryan Terefenko leads the team with 44 ground balls, has caused seven turnovers and added nine points on four goals and five assists. He’s also helped the Buckeyes become the nation’s most efficient clearing team, as they convert 94.3 percent of their attempts (200-for-212).
– The close defensive unit of Matt Borges, Ben Randall and Erik Evans have started 35 consecutive games together and led the conference this regular season in goals-against average (8.69 per game).
– Goalie Josh Kirson, a redshirt freshman, has started each of the last six games and checks in with a 9.24 goals-against average, .491 save percentage and 57 total stops.
SCOUTING JOHNS HOPKINS
– The Blue Jays, who also finished with a 3-2 conference mark, are 9-4 on the season following a 8-7 triple overtime loss at home last Saturday against Maryland.
– Johns Hopkins features the second highest scoring offense in the conference, averaging 12.4 goals per game. Four players have reached or surpassed the 40-point mark, led by Joel Tinney (17G, 28A). Shack Stanwick (16G, 25A), Cole Williams (28G, 12A) and Kyle Marr (28G, 12A) round out the scoring attack.
– Face-off specialist Hunter Moreland is winning just over 60 percent of his draws (173-of-285) and goalie Brock Turnbaugh has a 9.57 goals-against average to go along with a .498 save percentage.
HISTORY WITH THE BLUE JAYS
– This will mark the second consecutive season that Ohio State and Johns Hopkins are meeting in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Last year as Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Tre Leclairescored six goals in a 15-13 win for the second-seeded Buckeyes.
– On April 7 of this season, Johns Hopkins won a back-and-forth affair at Homewood Field by a score of 13-10. Inacio won 19 face-offs on the day — including nine of 12 head to head with Hunter Moreland — and Leclaire netted a hat trick for the Scarlet and Gray.
– Ohio State and Johns Hopkins have split their six total meetings since the formation of Big Ten lacrosse in 2015.
– This is also the third time in four years that the Buckeyes and Blue Jays are meeting in the Big Ten Tournament: they squared off in the title game in 2015 and the semifinals in 2017.
THE LAST THREE
– In its current three-game winning streak, Ohio State has scored 30 goals (10.0 per game) while only giving up 22 (7.3 per game).
– It’s held each of its opponents to at least two goals below its season average.
– The Buckeyes have outscored Michigan, Maryland and Rutgers 9-5 in the first quarter and 11-4 in the third quarter.
– Thanks in large part to dominant play in the face-off X, Ohio State has outshot its last three opponents by a combined total of 112-77.
– Justin Inacio is 45-of-61 in the X (.738) with two separate streaks of 10 or more face-off wins in a row (10 vs. Maryland, 13 vs. Rutgers).
– Jack Jasinski has 11 points (4G, 7A) in that span while teammates Colin Chell (7G, 2A) and Jackson Reid (6G, 3A) have nine points.
IN THE BIG TEN RANKINGS (CONFERENCE GAMES ONLY)
– Inacio led the league in face-off win percentage (.686) and was fourth in ground balls per game (4.60).
– Terefenko finished second in ground balls per game (4.80).
– Jackson Reid tied for seventh in goals per game (2.00).
– Jack Jasinski and Colin Chell both finished in the top 10 in assists per game. Jasinski was seventh (1.40) and Chell was tied for 10th (1.00).
– Ohio State was well represented when the Big Ten announced its all-conference teams and yearly awards on Tuesday.
– For the second consecutive year, the Buckeyes had the conferences Freshman of the Year. Justin Inacio took home the honor this year after winning nearly 70 percent of the face-offs that he took in five Big Ten games. Ohio State is the first program in the conference to have back to back Freshmen of the Year.
– Senior defensemen Ben Randall and sophomore midfielder Ryan Terefenko made the All-Big Ten first team while Tre Leclaire was a second team honoree.
– Head coach Nick Myers was named the Big Ten co-Coach of the Year. His 93 wins over 10 seasons is the most in program history.
THIS AND THAT
– Ohio State’s opponents had a cumulative winning percentage of .585 (103-73), eighth best in the country.
– The Big Ten features four teams with an RPI inside of the top 20, the most of any conference in the country.
– The Buckeyes face four RPI top-10 opponents during the regular season with three of those games coming on the road.