Ohio State (4-2, 0-0 Big Ten) 55, North Carolina (6-0; 0-0 ACC) 66
Value City Arena
Nov. 28, 2007
Ohio State recognized the passing of Buckeye great Bill Willis before the start of the game Wednesday. Willis, who played football for the Buckeyes from 1942-44, recently had his No. 99 jersey retired during a ceremony at the Ohio State-Wisconsin game Nov. 3. Willis helped the Buckeyes to their first national championship in 1942 and became the program’s first African-American All-American, earning first-team honors in 1943 and ’44.
The Jerome Schottenstein Center unveiled its $500,000 facility upgrade, which includes a new scorer’s table and lighting features to enhance the fans’ experience.
The matchup against North Carolina marked Ohio State’s first sellout at Value City Arena in the 2007-08 season. The crowd of 19,049 marks the largest crowd in VCA since the March 6 contest against Illinois that attracted in 19,200 spectators. In addition to UNC, games against Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan State have been sold out.
Ohio State record at VCA when the facility is sold out is 39-8. The Buckeyes are 18-2 in the last 20 sold out games.
The game Wednesday marked the sixth-consecutive year the Buckeyes have participated in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and holds a 1-5 record.
Ohio State has won six of its last eight games against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Head coach Thad Matta holds a record of 53-4 in Columbus and a 50-4 mark at VCA in four years, including a school-record 18-0 campaign in 2006-07.
At the helm of the Buckeyes, Matta is 36-6 in regular-season nonconference games. North Carolina leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 9-2, winning the last four meetings. Against the ACC, the Buckeyes hold a 33-25 mark and lead the all-time series vs. Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Ohio State has held its opponents to 70 or fewer points in 36 of its last 44 games.
Ohio State led 32-29 at halftime Wednesday. The Buckeyes have won 36 of their last 39 games when leading at halftime and is 73-9 when leading at the halfway mark under Matta.
The Buckeyes attempted 33 field goals from behind the arc during the matchup with UNC, which ranks as the fifth-most in OSU history, only three shy of the record set against Florida A&M Jan. 30, 2006 with 36 attempted treys.
In the first 6:43 minutes of play, David Lighty connected to score all of Ohio State’s six points, tying his career-high in made 3-pointers with two. In addition, the 6-5 sophomore pulled down a career-best nine rebounds.
In the game, Ohio State and North Carolina exchanged and tied the lead seven times.
Jon Diebler entered into halftime with four 3s, leading the Buckeyes in scoring with 12 points. A freshman from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, hit for a career-high 19 points, connecting a personal-best five-of-14 treys and seven field goals.
Ohio State ended the first half on a 9-2 run giving the Buckeyes a 32-29 ledger at halftime.
Jamar Butler added two more treys to up the school record in career-made 3-pointers to 159. The senior from Lima, Ohio, coveted the Buckeye all-time record after making 4-of-8 3s in the win against VMI Sunday.
Butler dished out five assists in the contest for a career 389, good for seventh on the all-time career list. The senior is only 12 helpers behind No. 6 Larry Bolden (1974-77/401) on the career assist chart. During his tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are 41-8 when Butler has four or more assists.
Butler has scored 10 or more points in all six of Ohio State’s games this season.
Senior Othello Hunter tallied a career-high in blocks, stopping six of UNC’s attempts.