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tBBC MBB: Ohio State’s Season Ends in 74-66 Loss to Florida in the NIT

Joe Dexter

MBB: Ohio State’s Season Ends in 74-66 Loss to Florida in the NIT
Joe Dexter
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


One of the toughest seasons in recent memory for the Ohio State Buckeyes came to a close on Sunday, in a 76-66 loss to the Florida Gators in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament.

Down 31-30 at the half, Ohio State failed to take the lead or tie the game in the final twenty minutes of the game.

Marc Loving scored 20 points to lead the Buckeyes, shooting 4-6 from three point land. JaQuan Lye scored 19, while Daniel Giddens also added 11 points.

Midway through the second, Florida built a 16 point lead and dominated possession of the basketball by running their offense through the paint — outscoring Ohio State 44-28 from the interior.

The Gators were led by Dorian Finney-Smith, who scored 16 points on 5/13 shooting. He also had a game-high 12 rebounds.

Three other players finished in double figures for Florida. Starters Kevarrius Hayes (14 points) and Kasey Hill (15 points) helped pace one of the top teams in the tournament.

Justin Leon added 12 of the Gators’ 18 points scored off the bench.

The Buckeyes have lived through most of the season living and dying by the three and that again was the case on Sunday.

Thad Matta’s squad shot just 3-11 from downtown in both halves.

Game flow was also an issue for Ohio State throughout the game. As a team, they were only able to put together 9 assists on made baskets, compared to 13 total turnovers.

A.J. Harris had 4 of those helpers in 31 minutes of play off the bench.

Ohio State’s starters turned over the ball 12 times.

With the loss, the season comes to an end for Thad Matta and his young squad.

Despite the struggles throughout the year, Ohio State finished with 21 wins. That makes 12-consecutive seasons that Thad Matta has led his team to 20 or more wins.

The positive is that Matta will have a clean slate to work with during the 2016-17 season, but will still have strong players to build around.

Ohio State’s only senior is walk-on Jake Lorbach and it’s highly unlikely that junior Marc Loving moves on to professional basketball.

Florida will take on the winner of George Washington and Monmouth in the NIT Regional Finals later next week.

The post MBB: Ohio State’s Season Ends in 74-66 Loss to Florida in the NIT appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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