Blowing Out The Buckeyes


By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
December 27, 2008

West Virginia 76, #15 Ohio State 48
Value City Arena
Columbus, Ohio
Summary
 
1
2
F
West Virginia 35 41 76
Ohio State 28 20 48
Stat Comparison
 
FG Made-Att 31-65 18-58
FG Percentage 47.7% 31.0%
3P Made-Att 4-20 2-18
3P Percentage 20.0% 11.1%
FT Made-Att 10-16 10-19
FT Percentage 62.5% 52.6%
Rebounds 42 38
Turnovers 7 12
Top WVU Players
Top Scorer
Top Rebounder
Alex Ruoff
17 Points
Da'Sean Butler
6 Rebounds

West Virginia held 15th-ranked Ohio State to 20 second-half points in a runaway 76-48 victory over the Buckeyes Saturday afternoon at Value City Arena in Columbus.

The Mountaineers (10-2) completely dominated a Buckeye team that came into the game with the nation’s longest winning streak at 14 and winners of 65 of their last 67 in Columbus against non-ranked teams. OSU also was working on a 12-game home winning streak and was 42-4 at the VCA while ranked in the Top 25.

All of that goes by the wayside on Saturday.

“It’s nice to play well here,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “I have a ton of friends and family who were at this game and have spent the majority of my life here (in Ohio). We needed to play hard against a very good basketball team today. I have wonderful kids that play hard. I wish they would grow to be 6-10, but these kids do what they need to do to win games.”

“We weren’t very good,” said Ohio State coach Thad Matta. “It’s just that simple. West Virginia had a lot to do with it. We couldn’t capitalize on momentum and really let our guard down on defense.”

Alex Ruoff scored 17 points to lead four West Virginia double-figure scorers. Da’Sean Butler contributed 16 points, Truck Bryant scored 11 and Devin Ebanks added 10.

“After we went up early in the first half, they got their big run and that was it for us,” said Matta.

The Mountaineers went on their big run in the second half when Butler was on the bench after picking up his fourth foul.

Williams Buford and Jeremie Simmons scored 11 points each, while Evan Turner scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Ohio State, which drops to 9-1.

Touted 7-foot Buckeye center B.J. Mullens finished the game 1 of 5 from the floor for 4 points.

Ohio State was a frigid 7 of 27 shooting (25.9 percent) in the second half and finished the game shooting only 31 percent.

The Mountaineers were much better close to the basket, hitting 31 of 65 overall for 47.7 percent. Behind the 3-point arc West Virginia was only 4 of 20.

“We didn’t want Ohio State to have structure on the defensive end and I thought we did a good job of spreading them out by not letting their big guys stay underneath the basket,” said Huggins.

WVU also beat Ohio State on the glass, 42-38, and forced 12 Buckeye turnovers.

“This is pretty much what we’ve been doing all year,” said Huggins. “We are plus-10 in rebounding but that is misleading because of the competition that we’ve faced.”

“We didn’t finish well under the basket,” Matta said. “They did a better job fighting around the basket. We had great looks but didn’t convert at all.”

“We didn’t match West Virginia’s toughness today,” added Ohio State guard Jeremie Simmons.

West Virginia’s 28-point win was a school record for the widest margin of victory on the road against a ranked team. It topped the Mountaineers’ 25-point triumph at No. 6 NYU on Jan. 3, 1952.

WVU downed No. 24 Temple by 30 points in the 1998 NCAA Tournament in Boise, Idaho.

Ohio State played before its first sellout crowd of the season at 19,000-seat Value City Arena. Most of them left midway through the second half as WVU expanded its lead to more than 25 points.

West Virginia returns to the court on Saturday, Jan. 3, at Seton Hall.

Briefly:

  • Huggins’ win over 15th-ranked Ohio State today was his fourth victory over a ranked team in a year and a half at WVU. It was also the biggest margin of victory over a ranked team on the road during his long coaching career. The previous best was 26 points in an 81-55 win at Louisville on Jan. 21, 1999, when Huggins was coaching at Cincinnati.

  • Ironically, Bob Huggins was a year removed from being a graduate assistant coach at Ohio State the last time the Buckeyes lost to an unranked non-conference opponent. It was during the 1981 season when Ohio State dropped a 76-67 decision to South Alabama on Dec. 16, 1980.

  • The Buckeyes wore their gray uniforms for the first time this year.

  • Today’s game is part of a two-game series against Ohio State. The Buckeyes will return the game to Morgantown next year.



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