Buckeyes set sights on third straight win
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – The BCA Classic championship is up for grabs
tonight at Value City Arena, as the Kent State Golden Flashes pay a visit
to seventh-ranked Ohio State. Kent State, which is currently first in the
East Division of the Mid-American Conference standings with a 2-0 mark, has
defeated South Dakota State (105-50) and IUPUI (81-74) over the last two days
in order to earn the right to face off against the mighty Buckeyes.
Speaking of Thad Matta’s Buckeyes, they are currently just one of three
programs in the Big Ten Conference to start off the 2006-07 campaign with a
pair of victories, with Michigan and Michigan State being the others. OSU
had little trouble with VMI in the opener on Friday, 107-69, but ended up
getting pushed a bit by Loyola-Chicago yesterday in an 87-75 final.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood,
Ohio State has won all four meetings against this in-state rival. The most
recent encounter took place in 1997 when the Buckeyes captured a 73-67
Matta is coaching his 200th career game today, and he owns a record of 150-49,
which includes a 48-18 mark at Ohio State.
Kent State was crushed on the glass yesterday against the Jaguars, 43-22, and
yet the Golden Flashes still managed to squeeze out the win probably due to the
fact that the team forced 25 turnovers. Haminn Quaintance recorded team highs
for KSU with 16 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals,
while Jordan Mincy came off the bench to offer up 15 points and a team-best
five assists in the victory as well. Mike Scott and Omni Smith accounted for 14
points apiece for a team that shot 50 percent from both the field and beyond
the arc (6-of-12). Against South Dakota State the Golden Flashes did well to
spread the wealth, with as many as six players scoring in double figures. Scott
and Armon Gates put up 16 points apiece, Rodriguez Sherman 15 in just 21
minutes off the bench, while Quaintance Singletary and Julian Sullinger both
chipped in with 10 points for a squad that shot a remarkable 62.9 percent from
the field and again forced 24 turnovers.
Ron Lewis was an unstoppable force last night as he produced a healthy double-
double with 27 points and 11 rebounds, both of which were game highs in the win
over Loyola-Chicago. Daequan Cook chipped in with 18 points and nine rebounds
off the bench, adding three assists and three steals for good measure, while
fellow reserve Ivan Harris checked in with 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from
three-point range. OSU finished the contest 9-of-17 beyond the arc, 20-of-26 at
the free-throw line and 51.8 percent accurate from the field overall. In the
opening game of the season the Buckeyes broke the Value City Arena scoring
record by three points with their 107 versus VMI, the previous high coming
against Penn State a year ago. The most points scored by Ohio State in a
decade, the team had as many as five players score in double figures in the
onslaught, led by Cook who again came off the bench to record 22 points and
nine rebounds. Jamar Butler added 18 points while Mike Conley handed out 10
assists and Othello Hunter recorded 13 rebounds in the lopsided affair.
Chances are Kent State is not going to have as easy of a time defensively in
this matchup as it did in the previous two, but still the Golden Flashes should
make it interesting as they fight for their first-ever win against Ohio State.