Ohio State basketball struggles early, beats Eastern Illinois

Before the game started, I tweeted that I wanted to see the Ohio State basketball team dominate Eastern Illinois. They were 30-point favorites over the 0-3 Panthers and had blown out their previous two opponents. Yet, the Buckeyes struggled early in this game.

At halftime, the Buckeyes only led by a score of 26-20 after a truly putrid display of offense. Brice Sensabaugh was the only one who could score in the first half and he had double-digits at the half. He ended up finishing with a game-high 20 off the bench for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn in the first half. Things got much better in the second half and the Buckeyes eventually pulled away, winning 65-43. Things got much better on the offensive end for them as they finished shooting 40.4% from the field.

The only other Buckeye in double-digits was Zed Key. He finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds for his third-straight double-double to start the season. He’s been the best overall player for this Ohio State basketball team in this early season.

While the Buckeyes did win the game, there were plenty of concerning things that were shown tonight. The lack of outside shooting was one of those things. Ohio State shot just 28.6% from three in this game. They are supposed to have better three-point shooters than that.

The free-throw line is a concern yet again with this team. They shot just 11-18 from the line. It didn’t matter for a game like this but it will against better competition. The competition steps up after this game because the Buckeyes head to Maui.

Turnovers were also a big problem. Ohio State committed 17 of them. That can’t happen against a good team. This is a team that hasn’t played much together because it’s a meld of transfers and freshmen, but you still can’t be so lackadaisical with the ball.

The Buckeyes’ next game is Monday in Maui against San Diego State.