Savannah State Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Tip-off: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 – 7:00 PM ET
Value City Arena, Columbus, OH
Even while many YouWager college basketball fans consider Deshaun Thomas as one of the nation’s top scorers the Ohio State Buckeyes‘ coach Thad Matta knows his team can’t afford to rely on only one person to produce on the offensive end.
Coach Matta should look once again at Thomas’ supporting cast this evening when the seventh-ranked Ohio State team hosts the Savannah State Tigers.
A preseason All-American, Thomas is averaging 20.6 points, and he scored 18 in 28 minutes Saturday as the Buckeyes (6-1) rolled to an 89-55 victory over Long Beach State. Even though the 6-foot-7 junior is able to take over a game, he is still searching for some consistent options to help take some pressure off his go-to guy.
Star guard Aaron Craft is known more for his ball distribution and defense and averages 11.0 points, however he has scored six or fewer three times in his last four games. Craft’s backcourt mate Lenzelle Smith Jr. (11.0 ppg) is shooting a team-best 48.3 percent from 3-point range after hitting 3 of 4 on Saturday.
Thomas might have to rely on sophomore reserve LaQuinton Ross. The 6-8 forward has totaled 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting in the last two games while pulling down 17 rebounds.
Defense is still a strong point for Ohio State, who ranks among the top 25 nationally by holding their rivals to 57.1 points per game and 36.2 percent shooting. The Long Beach State 49ers shot 31.1 percent from the field, including 5 of 20 from beyond the arc.
Ohio State is likely to flex its defensive muscle again as they try for a 34th consecutive home victory over an unranked, non-conference foe.
Meeting the Buckeyes for the first time, the Tigers (5-4) faces their second top 10 opponent after losing 58-40 at then-No. 7 Florida on Nov. 20. The Tigers are led by senior Rashad Hassan, who averages 13.2 points but has totaled 15 in his last two games.
The Tigers will take the court for the first time since a 55-45 home loss to Norfolk State in its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener Dec. 1.