Greetings Hoops Fans! This is Dave Horning for Fan Podcast with a post-game review of the Ohio State Buckeyes victory over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Final Score: South Dakota State 73 Ohio State 81.

How ‘bout them Buckeyes? What an exciting game!

It was Keita Bates-Diop, Kam Williams and CJ Jackson all scoring 20 points or more to lead the Buckeyes to victory. But at the end of the game, it was the Kam Williams Show!

With less than two minutes left, the score tied at 70, and the shot clock winding down, Kam Williams hit a crucial 3-point shot and drew the foul – and then made the “plus-one” free throw to put the Buckeyes up 74-70. On the next Jackrabbit possession, Reed Tellinghuisen missed a 3-point shot – shooting just 7 seconds into the possession and not giving their star, Mike Daum, a chance at this critical time. CJ Jackson got the rebound and Kam Williams again took over – he was looking to shoot – when he missed the jump shot from the free throw line, Andrew Dakich got the offensive rebound, and Kam Williams was ready to shoot again – and this time, although he didn’t make the 3-point attempt, he was fouled again, and proceeded to make all three free throws! Ohio State 77 South Dakota State 70 – with just a minute left. Ohio State made 4 of 5 free throws in the last minute to put the game away, 2 by Andrew Dakich and 2 by Keita Bates-Diop.

Final Score: South Dakota State 73 Ohio State 81

What a night for Kam Williams! He made 8 of 15 from the field, including 2 of 4 3-point attempts and 4 for 4 on Free Throws. He also gathered 5 rebounds, had 3 steals, 2 assists and no turnovers. Plus, he played some great defense, stealing the ball from the Jacks Mike Daum at a critical point in the second half. I loved his shooting from the field and his great reverse layups. They are impossible to block. The basket blocks the blocker’s arm so it is a very effective technique.

Also playing great was Keita Bates-Diop who scored 24, and CJ Jackson who scored 20 points on 8 of 19 shots, including 4 of 9 3-pointers. CJ had 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, only 3 turnovers, and only 1 foul. Great all-around game by CJ!

And, once again, our star player, Keita Bates-Diop stepped up as he has been doing down the stretch. I love the way he is looking to shoot. Just 11 seconds into the game – no hesitation – he finds himself open and lets it fly – even though he missed I love this attitude. He made the play of the game in the first half at the 5 minute mark – CJ Jackson made a long pass that traveled 2/3rds the length of the court which Keita caught in stride and, without dribbling, took two steps and slammed it home – it put Ohio State up by the score of 38 to 29. He was dominant in that first half, scoring 17 points in first half and 24 for the game.

It was an exciting game to watch. In the first half, both star players – South Dakota’s Mike Daum and Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop, were lighting it up – scoring 17 points each. At half-time the score was tied at 43.

In the second half, SDS briefly took the lead at 48-45, but Keita Bates-Diop made his only 3-point attempt of the second half to tie the score, and ignite a 16-0 run for the Buckeyes – South Dakota State, the team that couldn’t miss, suddenly went cold, going 5 minutes – from the 17 minute mark to the 12 minute mark in the second half without a point – they went from leading 48-45 to training 48-61.

At this point of the game, my friend asked me when we would play on Saturday, and I screamed: it’s not over! … and it wasn’t. South Dakota state made back-to-back 3-pointers and just like that, the lead was down to 7. Ohio State’s defense stiffened again, and over the next 6 minutes, the Buckeyes would build their lead back to 10 points 70 to 60 – with just under 5 minutes left. Again, my friend asked about the game time on Saturday …. Wrong Question! This game was NOT over! South Dakota went on a 10-run to tie the score at 70 with just 2 minutes to play, before Kam Williams stepped up. It was great to see someone besides Keita willing to step up and wanting to shoot. Keita is our star, but he can’t carry the entire burden.

Final Score: South Dakota State 73 Ohio State 81.

It was a great game to watch! At the 14 minute mark in the second half, with Ohio State leading 53 to 48, both teams were running up and down the court shooting but not scoring – it was wide open basketball, and the refs were great to let the players play. It was great basketball.
In the second half, Ohio State’s defense held South Dakota State to just 30 points. Mike Daum made only 2 3-point shots and was constantly harassed by all the Buckeyes who took turns guarding him. After scoring 17 points in the first half, be was held to just 10 in the second half. He was definitely getting tired.

In the post-game interview, Keita Bates-Diop was asked what was best about the two week lay-off … and he said it was a chance to rest the legs. The lay-off helped the Buckeyes who looked like the more energetic team. Both teams relied heavily on just 6 players.

SDSU made only 11 baskets inside the 3-point arc compared to Ohio State’s 15. It was good helping defense by Ohio State when a Jacks player would drive down the lane – great coaching by the Buckeyes staff to eliminate that play that Indiana had used so effectively against us. The Buckeyes had 10 steals and forced 13 turnovers.

There were 72 total shots for the Buckeyes, including 40 3-point attempts, against just 63 shots for the Jacks. The Jacks made 13 of 31 3-point attempts, so they out-shot the Buckeyes from behind the 3-point arc, the Buckeyes making just 12 of 40 for 30%.

It was the steals, the turnovers and the rebounding that got us those extra shots and the extra points we needed to win.

OSU made its free throws, did well on the boards, played better defense and better ball movement. Ohio State made an effort to defend the 3-point shot, while South Dakota State did not.

I did not foresee Ohio State shooting 40 3-point shots – but the Jacks were leaving the Buckeyes open to shoot them, so it was the best option. I don’t think it was the game plan, but it just played out that way.

With this win, Ohio State has achieved a successful season – they’re playing now with house money – they’ve achieved everything they could have expected and hoped for this year – everything from here on in is gravy. The best news: the season isn’t over!

But it’s still just one game at a time – up next is Gonzaga on Saturday, March 17 – time and TV Network to be announced.

This is Dave Horning for Hoops on Fan Podcast. Way to go Buckeyes! NCAA tournament winners in the First Round. The season continues! Go Bucks!