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Friday, November 29, 5 p.m. (ET)
The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Value City Arena (19,049) -- Columbus, Ohio. Television: BTN. Home Record: UNF 2-1, OSU 4-0. Away Record: UNF 2-1, OSU 1-0. Neutral Record: UNF 0-0, OSU 0-0. Conference Record: UNF 0-0, OSU 0-0. Series Record: Ohio State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes try to keep their unblemished record intact, as they clash with the Ospreys of North Florida at Value City Arena.
Ohio State is currently 5-0 on the campaign, with all but one of those victories taking place at home. On Monday, the team whipped up on visiting Wyoming by a score of 65-50.
As for the Ospreys, they've put together a block of three victories, after falling to Middle Tennessee and Southern in back-to-back efforts. The last triumph for the squad took place on Tuesday night when UNF slipped by Savannah State on the road, 65-61.
These teams met only once before, two seasons ago in this same building, as the Buckeyes delivered a sizeable 83-50 win over North Florida. At the time, OSU was ranked third in the nation.
Against Savannah State, the Ospreys took the lead right out of the chute, shot 53.6 percent from the floor in the first half in order to post a 36-26 edge at the break. The visitors took a few steps back in the second half with only eight made field goals and 0-of-3 behind the 3-point line, but they still played well enough to come away with another victory. Dallas Moore posted a team-best 18 points, shooting a perfect 7-of-7 at the free-throw line, followed by Travis Wallace and Charles McRoy with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
Listed as the top overall scorer for the Ospreys at the moment is Sean Brennan with 14.0 ppg, but he has appeared in just a single game, which means the more reliable offensive source for UNF is Wallace for his 13.1 ppg. Wallace, who leads the program with 7.7 rpg as well, is shooting an impressive 59.1 percent from the floor at the moment, which is actually better than his accuracy at the free-throw line (.519), and still the group is knocking down a solid 71.6 percent at the charity stripe overall.
The Buckeyes had a serious fight on their hands against Wyoming in the last outing, as the Cowboys shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the first half and trailed by just four points at the break. However, some halftime adjustments put the OSU defense on track as it permitted the visitors a grand total of just four made field goals over the final 20 minutes of action. Overall, the Pokes were limited to 35.8 percent from the floor and 2-of-14 beyond the arc.
On offense, Lenzelle Smith led the way for OSU with 20 points, on 5-of-8 shooting behind the 3-point line, followed by Amir Williams with 12 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Aaron Craft had a quiet game with 10 points and three assists for the hosts.
Aside from an extremely bullish defense, one that is holding the competition to just 51.2 ppg on 34.7 percent shooting from the floor and 19.0 percent beyond the arc, what makes the Buckeyes so dangerous is having so many players who are capable of taking over the offense on any given night. Smith leads a list of double-digit scorers with his 11.6 ppg, followed by Shannon Scott (11.4 ppg), Craft (10.4 ppg) and Williams (10.0 ppg), the latter also pacing the squad on the glass with 8.6 rpg.
There's no delicate way to say this but, the Ospreys are completely out of their league in this one. In fact, UNF will be lucky to be within 30 points at the final buzzer.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio State 83, North Florida 47
11/29 10:48:26 ET
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