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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s basketball team topped Wooster, 88-63, in an exhibition Sunday afternoon at Value City Arena. The contest was the Buckeyes’ first under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Holtmann.
Keita Bates-Diop led five Buckeyes in double figures with 17 points to go along with a game-high nine boards while Kaleb Wesson added 16 points and seven rebounds. Kam Williams added 11 points while Micah Potter and Jae’Sean Tate each added 10 apiece. Danyon Hempy and Simon Texidor paced the Fighting Scots with 17 points each.
Ohio State raced out to a 12-0 lead less than four minutes into the game but Wooster used a trio of 3-pointers from Texidor to cut the Buckeye advantage to 16-12 at the 10:36 mark of the first half. However, the Buckeyes closed the final five minutes of the half on an 11-3 run to take a 39-22 lead into the break.
After Wooster cut the lead to 15 at 48-33 at the 15:48, Ohio State used a 19-3 run over the next 6:23 to put the game out of hand at 67-36. Buckeye newcomers Musa Jallow, Wesson and Kyle Young accounted for the final 10 points of the Ohio State spurt.
Ohio State opens the regular season against Robert Morris at 7 p.m. Friday at Value City Arena.
Ohio State 88, Wooster 63
Nov. 5, 2017
Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Chris Holtmann, Ohio State head coach
On whether he accomplished what he wanted to in the game
“I think the opportunity for our guys to play in front of fans, and they brought a large contingent too, was great. The reality is that teams are going to make runs on us and we have to respond the right way. I think we were a little slow to respond in some of the situations, but overall I thought it was good for us to get a chance for some of our young guys to play.”
On his evaluation of the team’s shooting performance
“We had a few forced shots for sure, but we also had missed some shots where guys where wide open and just missed them. Once we were able to see a few go down that was good for us, but hopefully we won’t have too many nights where we shoot it like that both from the line and behind the line.”
On the performance of the team compared to their scrimmage against Xavier
“I think we certainly shot it more efficiently against Xavier, and that clouds things, but I think we played hard both times. We had a much cleaner game against Xavier and we were tougher for stretches, and we didn’t turn it over. We weren’t sloppy with the ball here like we were tonight. I was disappointed with that.”
Kyle Young, Ohio State freshman forward
On playing in the Schott for the first time as a collegiate player
“It was awesome. I have some great memories and you can always build something from your past with that and me and Kaleb both played on this floor in our high school careers, so it was cool to get back on with Ohio State.”
On his play in the contest
“It felt good. I had butterflies at the beginning of the game but after I got in, I was like, it’s just basketball. It was fun.”
Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State freshman forward
On the veterans on the bench cheering for him
“It was awesome. You make a good play and you see Joey Lane over there throwing his towel around, and everyone jumping around. It definitely brings a better morale to the team.”
Musa Jallow, Ohio State freshman guard
On what it was like to check into the game with Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young
“It was a blessing. You don't always get to have the connection we have. We are all roommates, we all checked in at the same time, it was like hooping with one of your friends back home.”
On handling this transition to college basketball as a 17-year-old
“I am taking it day-by-day. I am learning the whole system, and getting acclimated to the collegiate pace. I have been working my butt off and trying to get better every day.”
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