Playing its third and final game during an 11-day trip to Spain, the Ohio State men’s basketball team erased a large deficit to defeat the Catalan All-Stars, 68-66, at Pavello Esportiu Municipal in Barcelona on Thursday.
The Buckeyes fell behind early, 19-5, as Catalan was hitting its three-point shots in the initial stages of the game. OSU trailed, 26-14, at the end of the first quarter but could have been down more if it wasn’t for sophomore center Kaleb Wesson scoring seven points in the opening frame.
Ohio State cut Catalan’s lead to single digits twice in the second quarter – C.J. Jackson’s floater to make it 31-23 and Micah Potter’s dunk to trim it to 38-29 – before going into halftime behind, 38-31.
The Buckeyes started the second half with a 14-5 run to take a 45-43 lead, their first of the game. Jackson, Kyle Young and Wesson each scored four points in that stretch while Andre Wesson, Kaleb’s older brother, had two. Kaleb Wesson capped the spurt by blocking a shot on the defensive end of the floor and then knocking down a long two-pointer at the offensive end.
OSU finished the third quarter owning a 54-51 advantage before Catalan opened the fourth by hitting back-to-back threes to regain a 57-54 edge. Following a timeout, Ohio State responded with consecutive baskets by Kaleb Wesson to go in front, 59-58.
The teams continued to trade the lead down the stretch until graduate transfer guard Keyshawn Woods’ bucket put Ohio State ahead for good at 66-65. Kaleb Wesson and Woods both made one of two foul shots in the final minute to seal the victory for the Scarlet and Gray.
OSU head coach Chris Holtmann used a different starting lineup for each game. Jackson and fellow senior guard Joey Lane, along with Potter, Andre Wesson and Woods, who transferred from Wake Forrest in the spring, started against Madrid. For the Valencia contest, freshman guards Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr., sophomore guard Musa Jallow, freshman forward Jaedon LeDee and Kaleb Wesson got the nod. Jackson, Woods, freshman wing Justin Ahrens, Young and Kaleb Wesson were on the floor for the opening tip vs. Catalan.