Diebler, No. 17 Ohio State beat St. Francis 110-47
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—St. Francis coach Don Friday didn’t mince words.
“We got shellacked,” he said through a forced half-smile. “I feel like I went through a 15-round street fight with an 18-wheeler.”
Jon Diebler hit five 3-pointers to get No. 17 Ohio State off to a fast start, and the Buckeyes coasted to a 110-47 victory over St. Francis, Pa., on Saturday.
It was the most points scored by the Buckeyes since piling up 121 points in 1995 against George Mason, and matched the 11th-highest total ever for the program.
The margin was the widest since a 116-44 beating of Chicago State in 1991.
Diebler scored 15 of his 17 points during the Buckeyes’ quick start, Evan Turner had 16 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists, and center Dallas Lauderdale had one of his most dominant games at Ohio State (5-1). He flirted with career highs in points (11), rebounds (6) and blocked shots (6).
In addition, Jeremie Simmons came off the bench to score 18 points, William Buford chipped in 15 points and P.J. Hill had 10.
The Buckeyes had looked listless in the first half of a humdrum 84-64 win over Lipscomb on Tuesday night. That was something that coach Thad Matta didn’t want to see again.
“The one thing we asked these guys was to get out early, and establish especially from the defensive side of the ball of really dictating the tempo with pressure,” he said. “Our guys did that.”
The players got the message.
“After the last game when he said we didn’t come out with enough intensity, in practice (Matta) really stressed intensity,” said Turner, who only played 27 minutes after averaging 36 coming in. “He really told us to be in attack mode. We were focused in being in attack mode and making sure they were uncomfortable.”
Diebler took it upon himself to make the Red Flash extremly uncomfortable.
“That first 4-minute war we kind of sent a message to them,” Diebler said, referring to the first few minutes of the game. “It just started to wear on them because we kept coming. Even the guys who came off the bench came with great energy.”
Cedric Latimer had 16 points for the offensively challenged Red Flash (1-5), who had scored 72 points in a 23-point loss at Notre Dame on Nov. 16. Devin Sweetney added 10.
“My biggest concern coming into the game is that we have no inside players bigger than 6-foot-6 that have any kind of college varsity experience,” Friday said. “We may be able to get away with that in our Northeast Conference, if we’re fortunate enough. We’re going to get exposed (here). We got rung up tonight.”
After Diebler set the pace in the opening half, Lauderdale did the same in the second. He blocked one shot in front of the Red Flash bench, saved it from going out of bounds and then crashed to the floor, grimacing in pain. He also caught another shot in the lane.
And he brought one of the biggest ovations of the night when he banked in a free throw early in the second half. Lauderdale laughed long and hard after the shot clanged off the backboard and through the net.
“I’m good for banking in a free throw here and there,” he joked. “It’s the weight room.”
The Buckeyes hit better than 70 percent of their shots from the field until the final few minutes. They finished at 63 percent after substituting heavily for most of the second half.
The first half was forgettable for the Red Flash.
Through the opening 12 minutes, they had more shots blocked (3) than made (2).
With Ohio State leading 5-3, the Buckeyes went on a runs of 11-0, 12-0 and 11-0 to build a 41-10 lead. The chief instigator was Diebler, who hit five 3-pointers, and also had two early steals and an assist in the opening minutes.
After taking a 52-22 lead at the break, Lauderdale blocked several shots to intimidate the Red Flash inside and they became unraveled, the Buckeyes reeling off 18 of the first 20 points in the second half to make it 70-24.
It was the first time the teams had ever met.