Buckeyes’ great talent outweighs Skyhawk men’s effort in road loss
Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010 12:02 am
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Heading into Monday night’s game at Ohio State, The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team knew it would have its hands full with one of the top teams in the nation. The No. 2 Buckeyes – one of the seven remaining undefeated teams in Division I – used a balanced scoring attack and the Skyhawks had no match in a 100-40 loss at Value City Arena.
Reuben Clayton came off the bench to score 13 points to lead UT Martin (4-9). Terence Smith was the next highest scorer for the Skyhawks, as he accumulated nine points. Benzor Simmons grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for UT Martin.
William Buford poured in 23 points to lead the Buckeyes (13-0), while Deshaun Thomas added 20 points off the bench. Jared Sullinger (18 points, game-high 11 rebounds), Dallas Lauderdale (10 points) and David Lighty (10) also reached double-figures for Ohio State, who received points from all 10 players who logged time on the court.
“Obviously, Ohio State is as good as it gets in the whole country,” Skyhawk head coach Jason James said. “I thought we’d come out and compete a little better but we will try to stay together, do the little things and improve the next time out.”
Buford and Sullinger fueled the Buckeyes early, as Buford tallied seven points in the first 1:05 and Sullinger added five more to give Ohio State an early 12-0 advantage. Smith got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard at the 16:46 mark with an 18-foot jumper.
The Buckeyes scored six unanswered before a Clayton trey from the right wing with just under 14 minutes left in the half. Ohio State then pieced together a 13-0 run over a stretch of 4:12 before another Clayton 3-pointer ended UT Martin’s drought.
Andres Irarrazabal scored on a putback at the 7:32 mark but Ohio State went on another lengthy run – this time scoring 10 consecutive points to build a 43-10 lead with 3:38 to go in the first half.
UT Martin responded by scoring seven of the next nine points, capped by a long Clayton 3-pointer in the corner with 1:08 remaining before halftime.
For the remainder of the first half, Ohio State scored the last two buckets to take a 49-17 lead. At the half, Buford led all scorers with 16 points, while Sullinger (12 points) and Thomas (10) also cracked double figures for the Buckeyes. Clayton’s nine points on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the 3-point line led UT Martin.
Ohio State opened the second half in similar fashion as the beginning of the contest, scoring 18 unanswered points until Smith stroked a 10-foot jumper in the lane at the 14:23 mark. On UT Martin’s next possession, Clayton penetrated the lane and converted a reverse left-handed layup.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Jon Diebler began an Ohio State 18-4 run before UT Martin scored on three straight possessions, finalized by an Irarrazabal old-fashioned 3-point play with 5:36 to go in the game.
A layup by Thomas with 48 seconds to go gave the Buckeyes their biggest lead of the night at 98-35. However, the Skyhawks fought hard until the end, as Smith nailed a 3-pointer and Clayton drained a pull-up jumper in the final 34 seconds to provide the final scoring margin.
After traveling to Knoxville to play Tennessee’s Vols in their 2010 finale on Wednesday night, the Skyhawks will make their 2011 debut with an OVC road contest at Southeast Missouri on Monday, Jan. 3 with tipoff at 7 that evening in Cape Girardeau, Mo.