March 15, 2016

No. 3 Ohio State 72 (21-13), No. 6 Akron Zips 63 (26-9)
March 15, 2016
Value City Arena—Columbus, Ohio


  • This is Ohio State’s ninth trip to the National Invitation Tournament. The Buckeyes are 19-7 all-time in the event, winning the championship twice (1986, 2008).
  • Ohio State is 11-2 at home in the NIT.
  • The Buckeyes have played an Ohio team in seven of nine years in the event, with a 5-2 record in those games.
  • Ohio State is 232-76 vs Ohio teams all-time and 73-21 vs. Division I teams from the state of Ohio.
  • Ohio State is 7-1 all-time in the series vs. Akron. The lone loss came in a 21-19 setback on Jan. 2, 1913.
  • The Buckeyes are 55-13 vs. the current alignment of the Mid-American conference.


  • This is Ohio State’s first overtime game played in NIT competition under Thad Matta. In four overtime games this season, the Buckeyes are now 3-1.
  • Ohio State is now 15-5 at home for the 2015-2016 season, making it the 12th straight season that Matta has won at least 15 home games with the Buckeyes. He has done so every year as head coach at Ohio State.
  • Since 2005, Ohio State stands alone with the most home wins in the country with a record of 203-24 (.894).
  • Ohio State saw two players record double-doubles (Lyle, Loving) for the seventh time this season. The Buckeyes are 140-51 (.731) all-time in such games.
  • This game was Kam Williams’ first career start as a Buckeye and the fifth different starting lineup for the Buckeyes this season (Mitchell, Loving, Williams, Lyle, Thompson).
  • The Buckeyes saw four players play their career-high in minutes (Loving, Williams, Lyle, Mitchell).
  • Ohio State went 21-23 (.910) from the free-throw line, the best of the season.
  • Ohio State grabbed a season-best 57 rebounds on the night, also a high for Matta teams in the NIT and against Ohio teams. The previous high was 48 vs. Cincinnati on Dec. 12, 2006 in a 72-50 win on a neutral court.
  • Ohio State held Akron to 33 percent shooting on the night. The Buckeyes have held 78 opponents to 35 percent shooting or less and are 76-2 when doing so.
  • The Buckeyes won the points in the paint battle 32 to 22 (+10).
  • Ohio State trailed 29-24 at the half, making this the sixth time this season the Buckeyes have overcome a first half deficit to win. They are 6-10 on the year in such games.


Thad Matta                                                                                    

  • Thad Matta is 320-107 during his career at Ohio State and 422-138 overall as a head coach.
  • Matta is 6-0 coaching the Buckeyes in the NIT, with a 3-0 home record and 2-0 record at Madison Square Garden.
  • Matta has guided the Buckeyes to postseason play in 11-consecutive attempts and in every year in which Ohio State was eligible.
  • Matta’s teams have never failed to win 20 games in a season, a record streak (12 seasons) in Ohio State history. Additionally, Matta has never failed to reach the 20-win plateau in 16 years as a head coach.
  • Thad Matta is 16-1 vs. Ohio teams as the Ohio State head coach.
  • Ohio State is 10-10 in overtime games under Matta.
  • Matta is 62-21 (.744) in the month of March coaching the Buckeyes, the fifth best winning percentage among active coaches.

Kam Williams

  • Making his first career start as a Buckeye, Williams tied the team-high in points, scoring 18, to go along with five rebounds.
  • Williams also led the team in three-pointers, making three on the night.

Marc Loving

  • Loving recorded the sixth double-double of his career scoring a team-high 18 points and grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds.
  • Each double-double Loving has recorded this season has resulted in a Buckeye victory.

JaQuan Lyle

  • Lyle recorded the third double-double of his career, including a triple-double vs. Rutgers on Jan. 13, 2016.
  • Lyle co-led the team in scoring with 18 points and led the team in rebounds (14) and assists (6).
  • The 14 rebounds grabbed by Lyle was a career-high.

Mickey Mitchell

  • Mitchell scored a career-high nine points to go along with four rebounds.