Photo by Seth Nichols
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Despite losing by 10 points, it was an impressive outing for Walsh as it lost to Ohio State 92-82 in exhibition action at Value City Arena Sunday afternoon. It's the best the Cavaliers have played the Buckeyes in nine exhibitions in the last 10 years.
Early on it appeared that Ohio State would take control of the game as it has done in past years as it jumped out to a 14-3 lead after a dunk by Keita Bates-Diop. After the first media timeout though, Walsh caught fire and went on a 13-3 run capped off by a four-point play by Ditalion Battle to cut the deficit to 17-16 with 12:22 to go in the first half.
Marc Loving and Bates-Diop followed with the next two baskets, but the Cavs answered with a layup by Chall Montgomery and tied the game at 21-21 on a 3-pointer by Zac Carter with 8:22 to go in the opening frame.
Even though the Cavs were close throughout the game, they couldn't get over the hump and take the lead. The Buckeyes jumped back out to a nine-point with 3:14 to go before the half, but Walsh closed out the opening period with a three by Battle at the Buzzer to trail 43-40 at the break.
In the second half, Walsh didn't go away and tied the game once again on a big shot from Hardin Jr. behind the arc. That made the score 57-57 with 13:27, but Ohio State didn't lose composure and scored a trey via Loving. It gave the Buckeyes the lead for the remainder of the game as the Cavaliers couldn't close the game to within three the rest of the way.
Hardin Jr. scored a game-high 27 points as he was lethal from behind the arc with seven 3-pointers. Carter also had a huge game with 21 points and nailed five treys of his own and was 6-of-12 from the field. He was also Walsh's best distributor of the ball with six assists. Overall the Cavs made 14 threes to remain close with the Buckeyes.
Ohio State was paced by Bates-Diop with 26 points. He was nearly unstoppable as he sank 10-of-13 shots from the field which included 4-of-5 shots from 3-point land. Loving aided with a double-double on 24 points and 10 rebounds. JaQuan Lyle tallied 19 points.
The Buckeyes also benefited from shooting 52.5 percent from the field compared to 38.6 percent for the Cavs. Walsh started off cold in the first half as it made just one of its first 10 shots and shot 32.4 percent for the half, but recovered to make 44.4 percent in the second half.
Walsh was also out-rebounded by a 43-34 count, but the Cavs were strong on the offensive end with 13 caroms compared to 10 offensive boards for the Buckeyes.
The Cavaliers will start the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 17, on the road against Glenville State in a non-conference game. Tip-off against the Pioneers is set for 7 p.m.