Ohio State looks to continue its winning ways under first-year coach Chris Holtmann when it hosts Citadel on Tuesday. The Buckeyes have won four consecutive games, including an 80-67 victory against Appalachian State on Saturday, to improve to 9-3 and hope to stay on the winning track in their first-ever meeting with the Bulldogs.
“I think it’s a roster that’s hungry to feel good about themselves and is curious to see what can happen if we play together and play hard,” Holtmann told reporters. “We’re hungry to see what we can do when we play together and play hard.” Ohio State is 7-1 at home and has won their last three games in Columbus by an average margin of 19 points. The Buckeyes have won their last three meetings with Southern Conference opponents by an average margin of 25 points and hope to take care of business with a mouthwatering matchup with No. 7 North Carolina looming next week at the CBS Sports Classic in New Orleans. Citadel has won two of its last three games, including a 110-66 victory against the Point University, and hopes to move back to .500 by notching their second non-conference road win of the season.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, BTN
ABOUT CITADEL (5-6): Freshman Alex Reed scored a career-high 18 points and Tariq Simmons added 18 as the Bulldogs forced 31 turnovers in the win against the Point. Quayson Williams tallied 13 points and dished out four assists while Derek Webster Jr. contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds for the first double-double of his career. “I thought he (Reed) played very well and so did Derek off the bench with his double-double,” Citadel coach Duggar Baucom told reporters. “Everybody who who took the floor played hard and gave their all.”
ABOUT OHIO STATE (9-3): Jae’Sean Tate led the way with 19 points in the win against Appalachian State to move past Ronnie Stokes (1,240) for 33rd place on the Buckeyes’ all-time scoring list. Keita Bates-Diop continued his stellar play as he added 18 points, eight rebounds and four steals while Kaleb Wesson scored 16 points pulled down a career-high eight rebounds against the Mountaineers. Kam Williams had 11 points and C.J. Jackson dished out eight assists as Ohio State shot 52.6 percent from the field.
1. Bates-Diop is averaging 20.2 points and eight rebounds over his past five games.
2. Ohio State has won 15 of its last 17 non-conference home games.
3. Citadel has lost 21 straight games to Power 5 teams since the start of the 2009-10 season.
PREDICTION: Ohio State 88, Citadel 64