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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
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
3rd
SFG 1
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
4th
WASU 30
ARZ 59
 
3rd
CLEM 6
SYR 6
 
4th
LAMON 18
TXST 7
 
4th
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
 
3rd
COLST 31
WYO 10
 
3rd
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
Half
TENN 10
ALA 27
 
3rd
AUB 21
SCAR 21
 
2nd
PSU 0
OSU 10
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
3rd
TOR 0
BOS 4
 
3rd
NYI 5
DAL 4
 
3rd
PHI 3
DET 2
 
3rd
OTT 1
NJD 2
 
3rd
MON 3
NYR 1
 
2nd
STL 1
CHI 1
 
2nd
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
2nd
MIN 6
TAM 1
 
1st
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14