Ohio State Runs Away From Alabama A&M In Second Half To Secure 90-59 Win

By December 29, 2022 (5:01 pm)Basketball, Men's Basketball

Ohio State utilized a dominant second half to close out nonconference play with a 90-59 win over Alabama A&M on Thursday at Value City Arena.

Although the Buckeyes held just a three-point lead over the Bulldogs at halftime, Ohio State (9-3) bullied Alabama A&M (4-9) 54-26 in the second half to secure the victory. Ohio State’s field goal percentage rose from 44.4 percent in the first half to 58.8 in the second, while the Buckeyes improved from a 2 of 12 start from beyond the arc to shoot 53.8 percent from three in the closing frame.

It appeared Ohio State was set to run away with another win in a buy game early in the contest. The Buckeyes jumped out to an 11-4 lead with 15:15 to go in the first half, and freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh had seven points in the stretch. However, the Bulldogs would not go away quietly as back-to-back threes from guards Messiah Thompson and Dailin Smith knotted the game up at 13 with 13:54 to play.

The Buckeyes ballooned their lead back to seven, 24-17, with 10:13 but Alabama A&M would again close the gap. With 1:51 to play in the opening frame, guard Brandon Powell drilled a three-pointer to lift Alabama A&M into the lead for the first time of the afternoon, 32-31. A trio of free throws from guard Bruce Thornton and forward Justice Sueing, as well as a layup by Zed Key, pushed Ohio State back in front prior to the halftime break and the Buckeyes carried a 36-33 lead into the locker room.

Ohio State’s offense struggled immensely during the final 10 minutes of the frame, hitting just 3 of 9 shots while turning the ball over six times in that span, allowing the Bulldogs back into the contest. The Buckeyes also shot an abysmal 10 of 18 from the free-throw line during the first half while shooting just 16.7 percent from three.

The Buckeyes jumped on the Bulldogs to start the second half, jumping out to a 47-37 lead entering the under-16 timeout while getting buckets from each of their five starters during the opening stretch of the frame.

Forward Justice Sueing scored eight of Ohio State’s first 20 second-half points while helping the Buckeyes run away from the Bulldogs to open the second half. Sueing finished the afternoon with 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half, on 6-of-8 shooting.

Ohio State remained in control of the contest the rest of the way, as its lead ballooned to as much as 31 in the frame. The Buckeyes held the Bulldogs to 35.5 percent shooting in the second half while outrebounding Alabama A&M 20-15 in the frame.

The freshman duo of Thornton and Sensabaugh impressed yet again on Thursday. Sensabaugh produced a game-high 21 points while shooting 9 of 14, and Thornton added 12 points and five assists in the win.

Junior guard Eugene Brown III made his first appearance of the season against the Bulldogs, after recovering from a concussion during Ohio State’s first 11 games of the campaign. He scored two points and corralled a rebound in four minutes of action. Guard Isaac Likekele also returned from a three-game absence and registered five assists in nine minutes.

Hicks and Thompson kept Alabama A&M’s offense afloat, producing 11 and eight points respectively. Both players each added four assists.

Ohio State hits the road for a Big Ten battle against Northwestern on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Big Ten Network.

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