Saturday's game between Ohio State and North Carolina-Wilmington did not have nearly the same drama and pulse raising moments that Ohio State's football game against Iowa had. Most people figured that Thad Matta's team would have its way with the much smaller Seahawks and that game to pass. DeShaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 17 points and seven rebounds as every healthy player scored en route to an 81-41 rout.
The Buckeyes came into the game off of the high of a big win at the University of Florida and the Buckeyes apparently put an emphasis on defense in this game and held UNC-W to 16 points in the first half, the last time doing that feat was against Northwestern in 2009.
Jared Sullinger was held away from a double-double with limited playing time but still went for 11 points and eight rebounds. William Buford had 12 points and six boards while Dallas Lauderdale had ten rebounds to go with a poor shooting night (including a pair of missed dunks on the same offensive possession).
Ohio State held the rebounding edge 48-22 over the much smaller visitors and the Buckeyes were good at making the Seahawks pay for their mistakes after turning them over 12 times and nabbing seven steals.
This game was never really in question but it was a good chance for the team to work out some kinks as the schedule favors the Buckeyes for two more games before a trip to Tallahassee (Fla.) to play Florida State in the ACC/Big Ten challenge.
Saturday's game also was a chance for more of the young guys to see action. Against the Gators only Sullinger and Aaron Craft saw meaningful minutes and Thomas had a chance to play a little but was held in check. Jordan Sibert made the most of it and knocked down 11 points and had six boards of his own.
Not to be lost in the shuffle the other starters looked good too with David Lighty having ten points and Jon Diebler with nine of his own.
Now the Buckeyes prepare for Morehead State on Tuesday back at Value City Arena. There is no television for that game with the broadcast only going up on the internet. Ohio State returns to television on Friday when it hosts Miami (Ohio) on the Big Ten Network.