College Basketball

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Morgan State (0-0) at (11) Ohio State (0-0)



Saturday, November 9, 12 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Value City Arena (18,809) -- Columbus, Ohio. Television: BTDN. Home Record: Morgan St. 0-0, Ohio St. 0-0. Away Record: Morgan St. 0-0, Ohio St. 0-0. Neutral Record: Morgan St. 0-0, Ohio St. 0-0. Conference Record: Morgan St. 0-0, Ohio St. 0-0. Series Record: Ohio State leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: The 11th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes lift the lid on the 2013-14 season with a home game against the Morgan State Bears.

Morgan State put forth a modest effort in 2012-13, going 10-6 in the Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference while finishing the regular season at .500 overall. The Bears made folks stand up and take notice however, by winning three games in the conference tournament before finally falling in the title tilt to North Carolina A&T, 57-54,

Ohio State head coach Thad Matta seemingly has his club competing for the top spot in the Big Ten Conference every year, and this season is no different as the Buckeyes will try to up the ante after posting a 29-8 record last season. They won 13 of their 18 Big Ten bouts, won the conference tournament, and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State won the only other meeting with Morgan State by virtue of a 95-74 decision in Columbus on Dec. 27, 1994.

Morgan State welcomes four starters back from last year's club, as the team seeks to climb the MEAC ladder in this, coach Todd Bozeman's eighth year at the helm. The Bears could excel if they stay healthy and catch some breaks, and much of their success will hinge on the play of Justin Black (14.2 ppg), one of the league's top offensive performers. Anthony Hubbard (11.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is a gritty player who has the ability to create opportunities for himself, while Ian Chiles (9.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg) provides some stability in the paint. Blake Bozeman (5.8 ppg, 2.8 apg) lacks scoring punch, but does his best to get his teammates involved in the action as much as possible. The Bears may make some noise in the MEAC this season, but against a team as formidable as Ohio State, they will need to be almost perfect and hope the Buckeyes falter in several areas.

Deshaun Thomas (19.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg) did it all for Ohio State in 2012-13, but his departure means that a guy like Aaron Craft can really shine now. Craft, a senior, is one of the Big Ten's best backcourt performers, particularly at the defensive end, but he will be expected to up the ante this time around after averaging 10.0 ppg as a junior. Craft (172 assists) thrives on setting his teammates up, and the hope is others, notably Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (9.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and perhaps even Shannon Scott (4.9 ppg, 3.8 apg), will throw their hat in the ring with regard to serving as leaders, both on and off the court. In the middle, it's time for the underachieving Amir Williams to step up, but while few question his natural ability, averages of only 3.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game last season suggest he hasn't been giving it his all on a consistent basis. Sam Thompson is a solid role player who could develop into more of a contributor, and LaQuinton Ross has the talent to produce as yet another weapon in OSU's potent arsenal.

Simply put, the Buckeyes are far and away the superior team in this matchup, and it won't take long for them to display their dominance.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio State 82, Morgan State 56

11/09 10:31:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
 
13th
DUR 5
NOR 6
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
9th
PHI 0
ATL 1
 
7th
NYY 2
CHC 0
 
7th
DET 1
CLE 3
 
9th
MIA 3
WAS 6
 
5th
TEX 0
SEA 2
 
4th
CWS 1
BOS 1
 
5th
HOU 2
KAN 2
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN 0
TOR 0
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
 
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
3rd
MIL 77
ATL 75
 
3rd
CLE 74
BRK 61
 
3rd
MEM 59
DAL 59
 
3rd
OKC 59
DET 60
 
3rd
NOP 64
HOU 60
 
3rd
SAN 73
LAL 85
 
3rd
MIA 57
PHI 61
 
3rd
NYK 58
TOR 61
 
3rd
MIN 62
UTA 72
 
3rd
BOS 71
WAS 76
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
3rd
TAM 4
MON 4
 
2nd Intermission
PIT 3
CLB 3
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
13th
DUR 5
NOR 6