After scoring just two points in the first half, David Lighty kicked it in gear by adding 19 in the final twenty minutes to lead Ohio State past the Miami RedHawks for a 66-45 victory.
The Buckeyes pounced on Miami early, jumping out to a 22-5 lead in the first half. Ohio State held Miami to just one made field goal on their first 15 attempts, but with the RedHawks style of play, the Buckeyes were unable to build as big a lead as they would have liked.
"Today was a unique day because of the limited possessions," Coach Matta said after the game. "I think Miami came in and was going to bring the shot clock into play." That certainly was the case as Ohio State had just 30 possessions in the first half and a season low 28 points.
The RedHawks were able to make things interesting as soon as the Buckeyes looked to be in control. With Ohio Sate leading by 18 with one minute to go in the first, Miami scored six quick points to close out the half. As the two teams came out of the locker room to resume play, the RedHawks scored the first seven points as they put together a 13-0 run against the Buckeyes. After seeing their lead cut to just five, Lighty took over.
Matta talked about Lighty's strong second half, "It sort of fell in his hands... We got the ball moving there a little bit and a couple of the actions we ran freed him up and allowed him to go. It was big to see him get going like that." When Lighty was asked to address his performance, he responded, "I was bricking everything in the first half... You put a couple up, they'll eventually go in. I was hitting them and my teammates found me so it was a good thing for us."
Another good thing for the Buckeyes was their stifling defense. Ohio State held Miami to just 29% (15-51) on field goal attempts, a season low for the RedHawks. The Buckeyes were also able to create 14 turnovers in the game, completely obliterating Miami's chances at a comeback. Ohio State's ability to shut down teams with their defense is what really sets this team apart from others.
The Buckeyes are holding their opponents to just 53 points per game so far this year. In addition to that, the RedHawks have become the third consecutive team to score 45 points or less against Ohio State this season.
The Buckeyes travel to Tallahassee to play the Florida State Seminoles as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game will be carried by ESPN on Tuesday, November 30 at 7:30 PM EST.