(Photo courtesy The Lateran)
January of 2019 has been, rather, harsh for The Ohio State University’s Men’s Basketball team and their sophomore center/star, Kaleb Wesson.
The Buckeyes were a pitiful 1-6 in the month of January, and what appeared, as the season began, a promising future, tuned into a diagram of how not to count your chickens before the eggs are hatched. Their need for good play by with the typically reliable Wesson – who had been averaging slightly north of 11 points, with six boards, in those games, had moments of lapses. rebounds in those games.
February is now off and running – with a positive note specifically from Wesson – who hit for 27 points in a rematch against Rutgers – who had aided in the Buckeyes slid with their win back on Wednesday January 9th in NJ. Yesterday, the 2nd, in Columbus, a different team showed – as the Buckeyes handed the revenge victory against the Rutgers Men’s Basketball team a 76-62 loss.
“This was a complete game for us in a lot of ways,” said Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann, whose team shot 53 percent from the floor and only had six turnovers. “I was really proud of our older guys. Now, when I’m talking about our older guys, I’m also talking about our sophomores. Shot-making can cover up some things. We made 13 3s and our guys were taking great shots.
“Obviously, Kaleb gave us a great lift offensively. He took what the defense gave him. He was on a roll there. A lot of that was within the flow of the offense.”
Wesson had 17 of his team’s first 20 points to open the game. He not only made his first six shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers, but he did so with a dominance that was, quite exciting for Buckeye fans to witness.
“I wasn’t really paying attention,” said Wesson, who also had five assists and four rebounds. “I was just playing. You get lost in the game. My teammates were finding me, and I was hitting open shots when I had the chance.”
C.J. Jackson would add another 20 points for the Buckeyes, along with seven rebounds for the Buckeyes (14-7, 4-6 Big Ten). Luther Muhammad hit for an additional 12 points while Keyshawn Woods notched another 11.
Eugene Omoruyi had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead Rutgers (11-10, 4-7). Caleb McConnell chipped in 14 points.
Wesson smacked-down a back-to-back 3-pointers along with a baseline jumper during an 11-0 Buckeyes run that put The Ohio State University ahead 15-8 with 12:15 remaining in the first half.
“You can only take away so many things,” said Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell. “I thought (Wesson) was just outstanding today. He got them off to a great start and he kind of carried them.”
Muhammad hit a 3 and Wesson made a fall-away jumper late in the half as the Buckeyes hugged onto a 37-29 halftime lead. C.J. then ran the spectrum with 17 of his 20 points in the second half as the Buckeyes moved ahead by as much as 16.
A MICROSCOPE-TYPE REVIEW:
The Ohio State University: The Buckeyes have met up with potentially one Big Ten champion after another for much of January – Rutgers being the only surprise slap-into-reality. The next three games for the Buckeyes will be against Big Ten teams with losing conference records. Not saying anything other than that! Perhaps this could be the change around that is needed. Also, of note, this was the fourth game for the Buckeyes without forward Kyle Young, who is nursing a stress fracture in his right leg. Let’s hope that the positive jelling of February thus far will continue.
NEXT: The Buckeyes will host Penn State come Thursday the 7th.