Buckeyes Shuffle the Deck in Easy Win Over Evansville Purple Aces
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Led by a constant and attacking defense, #15 Ohio State (5-2) forced 21 turnovers on their way to a dominating 78-33 win over Evansville (2-5). The Buckeyes outscored the Purple Aces 38-10 in the second half.
Ohio State was led in scoring by Tayler Hill with 20 points on 6-10 shooting from the field. Freshman point guard Ameryst Alston joined Hill in the starting lineup for the first time and added eight points on 4-4 shooting, as well as eight rebounds.
The Buckeyes led the game 1-0 before the first second even ticked off of the game clock, as Evansville was assessed an administrative technical foul for not filling out their starting lineup. Hill knocked down one of two free throws before the jump ball.
Ohio State opened up a 25-13 lead in the first 10 minutes, thanks to tenacious ball pressure and quick hands. The Buckeyes scored 10 points off of five steals in that span, including a theft and spinning assist from Amber Stokes to Alston for a layup.
A three-pointer by Hill and a jumper by Raven Ferguson quickly made it 30-13 with under eight minutes to play, and from there the Purple Aces spent the next five minutes fighting their way back into the game.
Evansville cut the lead to 10 points at 30-20 following a jumper from Khristian Hart with 4:41 to play, but the Buckeyes closed out the half on a 10-3 run. Thanks to their numerous layups via runouts, Ohio State outscored the Purple Aces 22-4 in the paint in the first half.
The second half opened even more impressively, as the Buckeyes converted layup after layup while playing stifling defense. Evansville didn't get their first point until the 8:13 mark of the second half, getting outscored by the Buckeyes 23-0 to that point in the process.
The Purple Aces would only score eight more points the rest of the game.
"Defense is an important dimension to the team," coach Jim Foster explained. "I like players who are comfortable with their knees bent in the defensive position."
That defensive position led to nine steals and five blocked shots. Evansville shot just 12-52 (23.1%) from the field.
"Throughout the whole game we played excellent defense," Hill said. "In the second half, they only scored 10 points. We had excellent energy today and we didn’t give up a play."
Hill's 20 points was a game high, and Foster's reason for putting Alston in the starting lineup had a lot to do with how it would affect Hill in a positive manner.
"I wanted Tayler Hill away from the ball more," he said. "I felt we were messing up our opportunities to score."
It also had quite a bit to do with Alston, who will remain in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future.
"I just saw it every day with her," he said.
"I kept my eyes open and liked her work ethic from the get go. She’s very confident and I like players who go out and get after it. In this day, there are a lot of players who are anointed starters and I felt like she earned it."
The Buckeyes finished with 21 assists on their 31 field goals.
Center Ashley Adams had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Up next for the Buckeyes is a home contest against Lafayette Sunday December 9th at 1:00 pm.
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