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June 2018
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Buckeyes outlast Wolverines for third win in six days

The ninth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes mens basketball team, with a golden opportunity to grab a share of the Big 10 Conference Championship in the season’s final week, welcomed rival Michigan into the Value City Arena Saturday for an afternoon matinee.

The teams locked horns in Ann Arbor in early Jan. and the Buckeyes, playing without  Evan Turner, fell to their arch-rivals, 73-64.

It was a much different picture inside the Schottenstein Center Saturday afternoon, however.

The Buckeyes scored the first nine points of the game en route to a 66-55 win over the Wolverines.

William Buford, playing all 40 minutes, led the scoring Saturday afternoon with a game-high 24 points, adding nine rebounds and four assists. Evan Turner did as he usually does, scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing nine assists in 39 minutes.

Though, perhaps the most impressive Buckeye Saturday afternoon was Dallas Lauderdale. When Ohio State lost to Michigan six weeks ago, Lauderdale was basically non-existent, tallying only eight points and eight rebounds.

“Dallas was pretty eager to go today,” Buckeyes Head Coach Thad Matta said after the game, “[DeShawn] Simms nearly hung 30 on him in the first matchup and he wanted to return the favor.”

“The coaches were on me a little bit this week in practice,” Lauderdale said. “We knew it was important to slow down Simms if we were going to have a chance.”

Dallas certainly didn’t disappoint the 18,862 that packed the Schott Saturday. Equaling a career-high, Lauderdale scored 14 points, including a pair of raucous second-half dunks, the latter a one-handed slam on a feed from Evan Turner at the 4:28 mark of the second half that basically put the game on ice.

“I told my teammates to just throw up the ball and I’ll go get it,” Lauderdale said with a chuckle.

A superficial glance at the box score may lead one to believe Ohio State cruised to its 23rd win of the season (13th in conference play), though that’s not exactly how it went down.

Using a 19-9 run over the final 7:10 of the first half, Michigan took a 33-32 lead into the halftime break. The difference in the first half: seven Ohio State turnovers leading to 14 Michigan points and a six-point first-half advantage from the free-throw line for the Wolverines.

“They really slowed the ball down in the first half, and they were making shots” Turner said. “We had to really turn up the defensive intensity in the second half.”

Ohio State didn’t just turn up the defensive intensity in the second half, it cranked it to high and tore off the knob.

The Wolverines scored just 22 second-half points, connecting on only 26% of their shots (6-23) in the final 20 minutes and a 15-5 Buckeyes spurt gave Ohio State an 11-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play.

Michigan would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, William Buford continued to make shots. Playing a remarkably-consistent brand of basketball throughout, Buford was 9-15 for the game and 4-7 in the second half as the Buckeyes put the game away.

“My teammates did a great job getting me the ball,” Buford said. “I was really feeling it today and was able to knock down some shots.”

“He had a great all-around game,” Turner said, speaking of Buford. “Will is a guy that was just born to score. He has tremendous confidence in his shot.”

Ohio State has now won three straight games, nine of 10 and is 13-3 since Turner returned from a back injury that sidelined him for six games between December and early January.

“We’ve got a decent flow” Matta said of his team’s recent play. “We can sometimes be a little sloppy, but overall I’m very proud of where we are today.”

Ohio State will cap its 2009-2010 season Tuesday night when Illinois visits Columbus. The Buckeyes may well be playing for a share of the conference championship Tuesday as well.

If the suddenly Robbie Hummel-less Boilermakers stumble tomorrow afternoon against Michigan State, the Buckeyes will have the opportunity, with a win over the Illini, to forge a tie atop the Big 10 Conference.

“I said back in October that we just wanted to be playing our best basketball in February and March,” Matta said. “The tough teams win in February.”

The Buckeyes lost only one game in the entire month of February. According to Matta’s above theory, this makes them a tough team.

Hopefully tough teams win in March, too.

Ilgauskas a free agent; poised to return to Cleveland

Zydrunas Ilgauskas got his wish and was waived this past week by the Washington Wizards. His old teammates in Cleveland want him to return as quick as he can.

Cavs star LeBron James put out his pitch to get the 7’3 center back in Cleveland, “He knows I would love for him to be back here. I want him to be back here, especially while we’re contending for a title.” He’s one of the main reasons why I want to win a title for this team.”

“Z” as he was called in Cleveland, was acquired by Washington on February 17 as part of the three-team trade that sent Antawn Jamison to the Cavaliers, didn’t play one game. He reported February 19, took a physical and immediately returned to Cleveland.

The 34-year old is averaging 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds this season. Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld agreed on a buyout with Ilgauskas because they wanted to lower their payroll and let their younger centers get the experience they need for the rest of the season.

No team is far enough under the salary cap to absorb Ilgauskas’ $11.5 million salary for this season, so he is a free agent eligible to join any team once he clears waivers. He would be able to rejoin the Cavaliers in 30 days, but he can join any other team immediately.

“Z” has spent his entire career in Cleveland after being drafted in 1996. He said he wants to win an NBA championship before he retires.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas (NBA)

Baseball Buckeyes Come From Behind to beat South Florida, 4-2

Alex Wimmers (OSU)

compiled from reports from Ohio State

The Ohio State baseball Buckeyes in St. Petersburg, Fla., with Palm trees everywhere and playing at Al Lang Field at Progress Energy Park, had to staged a comeback to push their record to 4-0 in the young season. The game was delayed 50 minutes after the previous game between Penn State and Cincinnati went into extra innings.

Number 13 Ohio State picked up a 4-2 victory over South Florida behind a strong performance by ace Alex Wimmers went eight innings, giving up five hits, one earned run and punching out six. Ryan Dew led the offensive attack, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored, one being the go-ahead run.

A number of fine defensive plays by the Buckeyes in the game saved the day. Two highlights were a diving snag of  a sinking liner in the second inning by Brian DeLucia. Cory Kovanda might have topped that in the fourth inning when he ranged far to his left in shallow right field, made the diving stop and threw to first to get the runner.

The game was the fastest of the first four games, lasting  just two hours and nine minutes.

The Buckeyes will get back to action on Saturday when they play Notre Dame at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Collegebaseball360.com will webcast the game at http://collegebaseball360.com/live-college-baseball-coverage/.

Ohio State, Navy to open 2014 season in Baltimore

courtesy of Ohio State and the U.S. Naval Academy

M & T Bank Stadium, in Baltimore,  Maryland, will be hosting  a football contest between Ohio State and the U.S. Naval Academy during Labor Day weekend 2014 to open the season for both schools.

The game, a home contest for the Midshipmen from nearby Annapolis, is the latest in a series of moves by the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens to bring high-profile sporting events to the 71,000-seat stadium. “It is widely known across college football that Buckeye fans have a history of traveling in big numbers, with as many as 30,000 heading to road games, and Baltimore being 5 1/2 hours or 400 miles is not far from Columbus”, says Mark Burdett, Baltimore Ravens vice president. He continues, “Ohio State is quintessential college football. We see this as an interesting and very exciting opportunity. With the game being played on a long holiday weekend, it will give visitors more time to spend time and money in Baltimore”.

The Naval Academy played in Columbus in September 2009 to open Ohio State’s season and almost beat the Buckeyes.

M & T Bank Stadium (Ravens)

Chet Gladchuk, Navy’s athletic director, said the academy has never played at M & T Bank Stadium without drawing a sellout crowd. The team has played a handful of games there against Army, Maryland and Notre Dame. A home game with Ohio State was ideal for a larger park because Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium is 37,000.

Says Gladchuk, ” We don’t even think about going up the street to Baltimore if we can’t sell the game out. M & T Bank Stadium will host the Army-Navy game in December 2014. And there’s no question in my mind this won’t be different.”

Gladchuk also said that 100,000-seat FedEx Field in Landover, Md., home of the Washington Redskins, was a contender for the game.

No Shaq, No Bosh, Cavs and Raptors play an old ABA-style game

LeBron James (CTV globe)

Friday night’s game in Toronto between the Cavaliers and the Raptors was missing two All-Star centers, Shaquille O’Neal (sprained right thumb) and Chris Bosh (left ankle). You probably thought both teams would have trouble scoring?

Not exactly! Both teams ran up and down the floor like it was a game from the old ABA days with the red, white and blue ball to the tune of a 126-118 score. Plus, the game went into overtime.

The lowlight for the Cavaliers was the fact that they gave up 50 points in the paint. But the saving grace was their free throw shooting, 31 of 36 and the two stars of the game, LeBron James and newly-acquired forward, Antwan Jamison. James scored 36 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 9 assists. Jamison, playing out of position at center in overtime, scored 22 with 11 rebounds.

Speaking of overtime, Cleveland outscored Toronto, 15-7  much to the dismay of the raucus crowd at the Air Canada Centre. Mo Williams made back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime and finished with 22 points. Delonte West contributed 15 points for the Cavs, which won its third straight.

Toronto, who is always tough on the Cavs, were led by Jarrett Jack and Andrea Bargnani each scored 24 points, while Hedo Turkoglu had 18 before fouling out in overtime. Cleveland has won 15 of their past 18 meetings with the Raptors.

Cleveland led 105-98 with 3:39 to go, but Bargnani hit a jumper, Turkoglu made a layup and Antione Wright made a pair of free throws to cut it to 105-104, with 2:12 remaining. LeBron James ended the run with two free throws but Turkoglu tied it at 107 with a 3-pointer from the wing, then gave the Raptors a 109-107 lead with a rebound-dunk on Jarrett Jack’s missed layup with 50.6 seconds remaining.

James made a layup to tie it and Jack made two free throws but LeBron answered with yet another driving layup, making it 111-111 with 13 seconds left.

Both teams missed 3-point shots inside the last 2 seconds of the game to send it into overtime.

After playing all game with no defense, The Cavs suddenly found it in overtime and it helped key the run to close out the game. Mo Williams made 3-pointers on Cleveland’s first two possessions in overtime and Toronto never challenged again, as they shot 1 of 8 in the extra session.

Game Notes

*Shaquille O’Neal is scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday. He ate dinner in the media lounge while watching Olympic speed skating on TV.

* Chris Bosh missed his fourth straight game for Toronto.

* Cleveland recalled forward Darnell Jackson from the Erie BayHawks on Friday.

* Actress Elisha Cuthbert of the Fox TV hit show “24″ and boyfriend Dion Phaneuf attended the game as did Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey.

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