Dec. 23, 2016

Ohio State 79 (10-3, 0-0 B1G), UNC Asheville 77 (8-5, 0-0 Big South)
Dec. 22, 2016
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 11,480

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On tonight’s performance
“We weren’t very good tonight. You have to give credit to our opponent because they shot the heck out of the ball. We just weren’t as sharp as we need to be defensively and it poured into our offense as well.”

On JaQuan Lyle scoring eight-consecutive points in the final stretch
“We told him to do that, starting back on October 1 and tonight he finally did it. It was good to see. Those were some big shots for us in the end.”

Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State forward 
On Ohio State’s defense tonight of the perimeter                                                                     
“If you guys have watched all season, teams come here and make these crazy shots. I don’t know what it is. But I think we played pretty good defense. Rebounding was an issue in the first half and we cleaned it up in the second. We had a lot of fouling but I think we contested most of their shots. Their shots were just going in today.”

JaQuan Lyle, Ohio State guard                                                                                             On the last two minutes of the game feeling different than past games                                             “Shots going in or not, the ball is going to be in my hands. My coaches and teammates believe in me and they have confidence in me. Nothing really felt different except for the shots going in.”

Nick McDevitt, UNC Asheville head coach
On tonight’s game
“When you’re on the road against a team like Ohio State, some teams fold up their tents, particularly in a game that’s right before Christmas break close to the holidays. But, I liked our resiliency and the way we battled. It came down to being a one-possession game. Lyle made a big play; his running lay-up under a minute, it was a big play. So, congratulations to Ohio State.”

On Jae’Sean Tate
“Tate is a junkyard dog kind of a player. He plays his tail off. He just is tough around that basket he can make contact, make lay-ups, he’s a match up problem. He’s a hybrid forward, if you will. You put small guys on him and he overpowers them, you put big guys on him and they’re usually too slow to guard him. He’s a problem. The thing out there is that [Ohio State] was able to get out in transition quickly, particularly when [Tate] is having a good night on the defensive glass. Then to start the break, you’ve got the luxury of having your power forward at times just rebounding, and I thought that dug us in a little bit of a hole earlier.”