Ohio State guard Tanner Holden, a transfer from Wright State, led all scorers with 25 points as the Buckeyes cruised past Division II-level Chaminade 101-57 in their exhibition game.
Holden’s offensive outburst represented a changing of the guard, of sorts, for the Buckeyes, which saw a near-complete roster turnover during the offseason as 10 new players populate the roster entering this season.
Chaminade kept things interesting during the contest’s first 10 minutes, matching Ohio State’s 15 points while forging an advantage on the boards. However, the Buckeyes cruised from there — finishing the half on a 31-8 run. Holden sparked the run by scoring 19 of 25 points in the frame while shooting a hot 7-of-9 from the field and drilling both of his three-point attempts during the half.
The Buckeyes kept their foot on the gas in the second half, outscoring the Silverswords 55-34 in the frame and running away with the win.
Ohio State’s defense was the catalyst in the win as the Buckeyes held the Silverswords to just 28 percent shooting from the field and 6-of-33 shooting from deep. OSU also forced Chaminade into several mistakes, as the Silverswords tallied 15 turnovers — leading to 15 Buckeye points. However, the Buckeyes’ offense wasn’t shabby either, drilling 55 percent of shots from the field and scoring 54 points in the paint.
Although the Buckeyes struggled in the rebounding department early against the Silverswords, Ohio State still staked out a 49-41 advantage on the glass — aided by junior forward Zed Key, who produced five boards to go along with his 15 points.
As Holden led Ohio State in scoring during his debut in the scarlet and gray, several other Buckeyes also took the Value City Arena floor for the first time during the exhibition. Among the transfers, former Oklahoma State guard Isaac Likekele also stood out, as he hit 4-of-6 shots en route to 10 points. He added four rebounds and three assists, while primarily operating off-ball despite playing the point guard role in his four seasons with the Cowboys. West Virginia transfer shooting guard Sean McNeil was held scoreless in the first half but dropped nine second-half points while shooting 60 percent from three. McNeil led the Buckeyes’ three-point barrage, as OSU connected on 12-of-23 attempts from beyond the arc.
Ohio State also saw five freshmen take the floor against the Silverswords, as guard Roddy Gayle Jr. led the pack with 14 points on 85.7 percent shooting. Point guard Bruce Thornton struggled with his shot — hitting just 1-for-7 — but facilitated the offense well, dishing out 11 assists. Center Felix Okpara established himself as a dangerous presence in the painted area, tallying three blocks alongside his four points and nine rebounds. Sharpshooting guard Bowen Hardman also saw minutes late in the game, drilling four threes. Forward Brice Sensabaugh struggled to get into a rhythm, hitting just 27.2 percent of his shots en route to eight points.
The Silverswords were led by guard Braden Olsen, who turned in 12 points while hitting 40 percent of his three-point attempts. Olsen’s efforts were supported by guard Isaac Amaral-Artharee, who added 12 points.
The Buckeyes were without a pair of their three returning contributors as Justice Sueing was unavailable due to an ankle sprain while Eugene Brown III was inactive as he processes through concussion protocol. According to an Ohio State press release, Sueing was held out as a precaution.
Ohio State will tip off the regular season on Nov. 7 against Robert Morris at Value City Arena at 7:00 p.m.