Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The 12th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes continue a four-game homestand at Value City Arena on Wednesday night when they face off against the High Point Panthers in a non-conference matchup.
High Point has been impressive in the early going this season with wins in six of its first eight contests, with its only two losses coming in tough road games against Richmond (80-56) and Clemson (62-59). The Panthers most recently edged out William & Mary at home on Saturday, 66-63.
Ohio State fell flat at nationally-ranked Louisville on Dec. 2 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (64-55) for its first loss of the season, but it bounced back with a 70-50 triumph over Colgate on Saturday to improve to 6-1. The Buckeyes are riding a 54-game winning streak at home against unranked non-conference opponents.
This marks the first-ever meeting between the programs.
The Panthers appeared down for the count early in the second half of their most recent contest facing a 15-point deficit, but they clawed their way back in it and took control with a 26-6 run. Although they shot a modest 42.3 percent from the field, including just 3-of-16 from 3-point range, they outscored W&M at the free-throw line, 19-7. Pacing all scorers was John Brown with 21 points to go with nine rebounds and five blocks. Brian Richardson and Devante Wallace chipped into the winning effort with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
On the season, High Point is able to score slightly more points (72.6 ppg) than it allows (69.9 ppg) thanks to impressive percentages from the field (.475) and the free-throw line (.718). Brown has been outstanding with 19.6 ppg on greater than 56 percent efficiency from the floor while adding team highs in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and blocks (10). Richardson (11.1 ppg), Wallace (10.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Lorenzo Cugini (9.6 ppg) have also been solid.
The Buckeyes carried a double-digit advantage into intermission of their latest game and didn't break a sweat the rest of the way, as they outshot Colgate from the field, 46.6 percent to 33.3 percent, and won both the rebounding (39-31) and turnover (15-9) battles in the 20-point victory. D'Angelo Russell was the catalyst with 19 points on 8-of-19 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Marc Loving scored 17 points, Kam Williams netted 11 off the bench and Amir Williams tallied eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Unsurprisingly, Ohio State has been outstanding on both ends of the court this season, shooting a lofty 51.7 percent from the field for 80.1 ppg while allowing just 57.1 ppg on 36.5 percent shooting, and it lives comfortably in the green with its rebounding (+5.3) and turnover (+6.1) margins. Russell pours in 18.0 ppg on 42.5 percent from beyond the arc while adding 5.3 rpg and nearly two steals per contest. Loving (12.9 ppg) is even more efficient from 3-point range (.560). Sam Thompson narrowly misses the double-digit scorers club with 9.9 ppg.