Buckeyes play host to Pioneers

Nov 23, 2014 - 4:19 PM Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The 20th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will attempt to remain unbeaten when they host the Sacred Heart Pioneers in a non- conference tilt at Value City Arena Sunday.

Sacred Heart is off to a 1-1 start to the season, but is coming off a tough 57-54 loss to Umass-Lowell on Thursday. The Pioneers have a tough slate of non-conference games coming up, with Ohio and James Madison highlighting the list of teams.

Ohio State crushed Walsh in the team's exhibition contest, and has since won two games against UMass-Lowell and, most recently, Marquette by a 74-63 score. The Buckeyes are hosting Sacred Heart, Campbell and James Madison as part of the Buckeye Classic.

The meeting on Sunday between Sacred Heart and Ohio State will be the first between the two sides in history.

Sacred Heart suffered through a dismal shooting performance against UMass- Lowell in the team's latest outing. The Pioneers connected on just 35,3 percent of their shots in the game, including only 25 percent from 3-point distance. Only Evan Kelley had a scoring total in double figures, as the guard netted 10 points in the loss. De'Veon Barnett, Phil Gaetano and Cane Broome each had eight points in the loss, while Broome and Steve Glowiak each contributed a team-best six rebounds. Sacred Heart recorded 42 rebounds in the contest, but could only force six Riverhawks turnovers that led to just four points for the Pioneers. The team held a five-point lead not even two minutes into the contest, but let that evaporate quickly.

In two games this season, Sacred Heart is averaging 62.5 ppg and is holding opponents to a low 55.0 ppg average. That will likely change for the Northeast Conference program as it gets set to take on the 20th-ranked Buckeyes. Barnett leads the team with a 13.0 ppg average, shooting 55 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line. Kelley checks in behind Barnett at second on the team with 11.5 ppg, and is the only other player on the squad to average a scoring total in double figures through the team's two contests. Barnett has a 6.0 rpg mark to lead the team, followed closely by Glowiak's 5.0 rpg average. With 4.5 apg, Gaetano tops the Pioneers through two contests.

Ohio State was able to earn a seven-point lead over Marquette by the time the first half ended on the Buckeyes' last outing, and the team continued to build on that advantage in the second half for the 11-point win over the Golden Eagles. Kam Williams led a group of four Ohio State scorers in double digits with 15 points. Amir Williams chipped in with 12 points, and both Marc Loving and Sam Thompson added 10 points apiece. Shannon Scott dished out a team-best 14 assists in the win, while Thompson added six rebounds to pace the Buckeyes.

Four Ohio State players enter the game against Sacred Heart averaging double- digit point totals through two games, led by Kam Williams's 13.5 ppg average. Both Loving and Thompson are second on the team averaging 12.0 ppg, and D'Angelo Russell rounds out the group with 11.0 ppg. The Buckeyes are scoring a whopping 83.0 ppg, and are holding opponents to 59.0 ppg - a scary statistic to look at for Sacred Heart. Trey McDonald leads Ohio State with a 5.5 rpg average, and Scott has dished out a team-best 25 assists in two games.

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