Columbus, OH – The third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes continue 12 season when they welcome the conference action at Value City Arena this evening,
Thad Matta's Buckeyes have certainly enjoyed home-cooking to start the year and have made light work of almost every opponent this season, including a 107-74 rout of VMI on Wednesday. Ohio State will play two more games at home before hitting the road, including a showdown with Duke following this contest.
Bryce Drew's first season at the helm with the Crusaders has started well, with Valparaiso winning five of its first six games. The team has won five straight since dropping the season opener at Arizona, including an 84-68 decision against Duquesne last weekend.
These two teams have split a pair of meetings. Valparaiso won 67-64 in Anchorage Alaska in 2001, but Ohio State evened things up with a 78-58 win in Columbus in 2006.
With the win over the Dukes, Valparaiso captured the Subregional of the 2K Sports Classic. Kevin Van Wijk and Ryan Broekhoff were unstoppable, combining for 43 points and 22 rebounds. Van Wijk just missed a double-double with 22 points and nine boards, while Broekhoff completed the trick with 21 points and 13 rebounds. He even added six assists to boot. Jay Harris was effective off the bench as well, pouring in 17 points in the win. At 77.8 ppg, the Crusaders can certainly score. Four players are currently averaging double figures, led by Van Wijk's 17.8 ppg. Broekhoff is right behind at 15.5 ppg. The pair combine for 17.6 rebounds per game.
All-American Jared Sullinger recorded his third straight double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, as Ohio State made light work of VMI this week in Columbus. The Buckeyes shot a ridiculous 67.6 percent from the floor in their 107-point eruption. Sullinger was joined in double figure scoring by four other Buckeyes, including William Buford's game-high 23 points. Aaron Craft added 13 points to the onslaught, with Deshaun Thomas and J.D. Weatherspoon chipping in with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Ohio State is beating opponents by an average of 30 points per game, netting 86.2 while allowing just 56.2. Sullinger is perhaps the best frontcourt player in the country and is averaging team-highs of 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Buford pours in 16.2 ppg, while Thomas adds 12.4 ppg.