Delaware State (4-4) at (18) Ohio State (8-2)
Saturday, December 19th, 4:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Ralph Lauro, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Value City Arena (19,049) -- Columbus, Ohio. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: DSU 4-1, OSU 7-0. Away Record: DSU 0-3, OSU 0-1. Neutral Record: DSU 0-0, OSU 1-1. Conference Record: DSU 0-1, OSU 0-0. Series Record: Ohio State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The 18th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes resume their three-game homestand today, as they host the Delaware State Hornets in a non-conference bout at Value City Arena.
The Buckeyes jump started their homestand with yet another convincing victory, as they trounced Presbyterian, 78-48, on Wednesday. OSU has won its seven home games by an average of 35 ppg and has scored in triple digits in three of those victories. Overall, the Buckeyes are now 8-2 and they will wrap up their homestand against Cleveland State on Tuesday.
As for the Hornets, they are in the midst of a five-game road trip that has started with three consecutive losses. The most recent of the those setbacks came a week ago, an embarrassing 76-34 defeat at Arizona State. DSU is now 4-4 overall and will end its homestand against UCLA on December 27th.
DSU had dropped both prior encounters with OSU on the hardwood and that includes a 70-42 setback in a meeting last season.
The Hornets come into the game averaging 56.8 ppg behind a lackluster 39.3 percent shooting from the field. Marcus Neal is the team's leading scorer at 14.0 ppg and he is an effective three-point shooter, hitting on 44.8 percent from downtown. Frisco Sandidge chips in with 12.4 ppg and he is the team's top rebounder, grabbing 6.4 rpg. The duo combined for 23 of the team's mere 34 points in a lopsided loss to Arizona State last weekend. The Hornets shot an abysmal 25.0 percent from the floor in the game and were simply dominated all around.
The Buckeyes dropped in 53.7 percent of their attempts from the floor and held Presbyterian to a dismal 33.3 percent shooting effort, as they coasted to victory on Wednesday. David Lighty headed the charge with 20 points and six boards for OSU, while Jon Diebler posted 12 points. It was the team's first home game without star Evan Turner, who broke two bones in his lower back on December 5th. Turner was averaging 18.5 ppg, 11.4 rpg and 5.9 apg prior to the injury and is expected to be out a few more weeks. Diebler has helped pick up the slack and he averages 15.6 ppg on the strength of 49.4 percent shooting from long range. Lighty adds 13.1 ppg and 5.5 rpg, while William Buford contributes 12.0 ppg and 3.4 apg. Jeremie Simmons is another option with 10.5 ppg off the bench for OSU, which is averaging a hardy 84.7 ppg on the season.
OSU is the obvious choice in this one and it should be able to continue its home dominance with a rout of DSU today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio State 78, Delaware State 50
12/19 10:37:37 ET