It was not pretty, but Ohio State did get their first win away from home. They beat URI in a game that was probably too close. The final was 66-55, but it was a much closer game for most of the contest. Ohio State trailed much of the first half before pulling away with about seven minutes remaining in the second half for the double digit win.
Deshaun Thomas definitely deserves the game-ball after this one. He scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds, in a dominating effort. It was truly the perfect showing of offensive efficiency for the All- Big Ten big man. He shot 50% from the field and from three point land. He committed just two fouls and just one turnover.
Even more impressive, was the fact that Thomas scored 17 points in the second half, taking over the game. He became what Jared Sullinger was last season. When the Buckeyes needed a basket Sullinger was the guy. Now, with Sullinger gone, someone else needed to be able to be the go-to scorer.
Most believed Thomas was good enough to lead a top five team and Saturday he showed why. He took what was a bad first half performance by Ohio State and turned it in to a tough road win. The first time playing away from home is always tough and Ohio State showed that, yet was still able to escape with an 11 point win.
When asked about the near close call, Thomas said “We’re just going to mark it down as a win. We know we’re a team that can get better each and every day.”
They are indeed a very good team and Thomas showed that he can be a great player.
Ohio State plays the Washington Huskies, today at 4:30, in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Title Game.