Raiders come calling on 21st-ranked Buckeyes

Dec 27, 2014 - 3:23 PM Columbus, OH ( - The 21st-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes put the wraps on the non-conference portion of their regular-season schedule, as they play host to the Wright State Raiders on Saturday evening.

Wright State enters the fray sporting an 8-5 record, and the team recently had a four-game win streak come to an end in a 68-60 loss at home to George Mason two days before Christmas. Following this clash, the Raiders will return home to face Detroit next Friday in their Horizon League opener.

Ohio State has won 10 of its first 12 games this season, and the squad recently bounced back from its second defeat (82-74 vs. North Carolina) to rout visiting Miami-Ohio on Dec. 22, 93-55. All 10 of the Buckeyes' wins have come at home, and they will tip off Big Ten Conference play next when they host Iowa on Tuesday.

Ohio State is 3-0 all-time against Wright State, with each contest having been played in Columbus. The most recent encounter took place on Nov. 11, 2011, with the Buckeyes prevailing in a 73-42 final.

OSU is 23-1 all-time against teams from the Horizon League, and is 71-21 versus Division I opponents from within the state of Ohio.

JT Yoho scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds, but that effort went for naught as Wright State dropped an eight-point decision to visiting George Mason earlier this week. Joe Thomasson and Steven Davis tacked on 13 points apiece for the Raiders, who shot just 40.7 percent from the floor, which included a woeful 3-of-18 performance from 3-point range. As for WSU's defensive effort, it allowed the Patriots to make good on 52 percent of their total shots. GMU turned the ball over 15 times compared to only nine by Wright State, but the Pats easily won the rebounding battle, 37-24.

Yoho is averaging 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game to pace the Raiders in both categories, and he is joined in double digits in the scoring column by Thomasson (12.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.2 apg) and Chrishawn Hopkins (10.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg). The team as a whole is netting 69.4 ppg, but is giving up 66.2 ppg. The Raiders are routinely outrebounded (-3.4), but they win the turnover battle more often than not (+2.5).

Ohio State had no trouble dispatching Miami-Ohio the last time out, as the Buckeyes controlled both ends of the court in what turned out to be a near 40-point victory. Kam Williams came off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points, and he was just one of five double-digit scorers for coach Thad Matta's club. Marc Loving finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while D'Angleo Russell drained 4-of-8 3-point attempts to tally 15 points, and he dished out nine assists as well. Keita Bates-Diop chipped in a dozen points and Jae'Sean Tate had 10 points, both players contributing off the bench for the Buckeyes, who connected on 54.5 percent of their field goal attempts, while limiting the RedHawks to 34.4 percent efficiency. Miami committed 19 turnovers to only eight for Ohio State.

Like Yoho for Wright State, Russell is far and away the most potent scorer for Ohio State this season, as he is averaging 17.2 ppg, thanks to a 42 percent showing from beyond the arc. Loving has really excelled from distance, hitting 58.5 percent of his tries in netting 12.3 ppg, while Sam Thompson nets 10.3 ppg. Shannon Scott is one of the top floor generals in the country, as he gets his teammates involved by handing out 7.8 apg. The Buckeyes entered the week ranked 12th in the nation in scoring at 83.3 ppg, but they've upped that to 84.1 ppg. They also lowered their scoring defense from 59 ppg to 58.8 ppg.

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