Bobcats battle 10th-ranked Buckeyes

Nov 12, 2013 - 3:57 PM Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - A pair of 1-0 teams from the Buckeye State get together on Tuesday night, as Ohio University pays a visit to No. 10 Ohio State.

Ohio University took care of visiting Northern Iowa in its season opener on Saturday, 75-64. It was the 10th straight lid-lifting triumph for the Bobcats, who improved to 72-35 all-time in season openers. OU welcomes back eight letter-winners from the 2012-13 club that claimed a share of the Mid-American Conference regular-season title and participated in the NIT.

Ohio State head coach Thad Matta has his club ready to battle once again for the Big Ten Conference, and the Buckeyes are hoping for even better results than last season when they logged a 29-8 overall record, won 13 of their 18 league bouts, won the Big Ten Tournament, and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. OSU got things started on the right foot by whipping MEAC foe Morgan State at home on Saturday, 89-50.

Ohio State owns a commanding 17-4 lead in the all-time series with its intrastate rival, but this is the first meeting since the 1994 preseason NIT. In that clash, it was the Bobcats who came away victorious by taking a 78-67 decision.

Maurice Ndour led all scorers with 20 points, leading the Bobcats to their season-opening victory over Northern Iowa in Athens on Saturday. Ndour made good on 8-of-12 field goal attempts, helping the team shoot 51.9 percent from the floor. An impressive 11-of-23 effort from 3-point range also helped matters, as did the fact that OU was extremely careful with the basketball, committing only six turnovers. As for the Panthers, they shot just 38.8 percent from the field, missing 16 of their 22 3-point tries along the way. They did double up the Bobcats at the foul line (20-10) and outscored them in bench points (29-13), but had trouble stopping the likes of Ndour, Nick Kellogg (16 points, five rebounds) and Ricardo Johnson (14 points, four boards). Stevie Taylor also finished in double figures for Ohio, netting 10 points despite going just 4-of-10 from the floor. He did however, hand out a career- high-tying eight assists and came up with two steals in 27 minutes of action.

Ohio State had five players score in double figures, as it routed Morgan State in Saturday's season opener, winning by 39. Lenzelle Smith, Jr. and Shannon Scott each drained four 3-pointers en route to 18 and 16 points, respectively, and both came close to notching double-doubles with the former pulling down nine rebounds, and the latter dishing out seven assists. One player who did pull off the double-dip was LaQuinton Ross, who tallied 14 points and 11 boards in only 24 minutes on the floor. Sam Thompson and Marc Loving came off the bench to chip in 14 and 10 points, respectively for a team that knocked down 11 3-pointers as part of a 47.7 percent overall shooting effort. Aaron Craft went just 1-of-5 from the floor for five points, but he finished with six helpers. The Buckeyes claimed a sizeable 55-34 rebounding advantage, while holding the Bears to 30.8 percent field goal efficiency, which included a dreadful 3-of-18 showing from beyond the arc. About the only negative for Ohio State was the fact that it turned the ball over 16 times.

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