In a thrilling final few minutes, the Ohio State Buckeyes improved to 1-0 on the young season with a victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats. Ohio State comes off a season that saw them go out earlier than they wanted to as a 4 seed in March Madness, and they come into 2018 unranked. Cincinnati comes into the new season also unranked and looking to avenge an early exit in the round of 32 to Nevada in March Madness.
Both teams started off cold from the floor as in the first half nothing was falling. The Bearcats hit just 4 of their shots, and combined with the Buckeyes 9 makes, these teams were locked into a defensive battle early.
When the second half started, Ohio State started to pull away as they took control with a double-digit lead. The Buckeyes leaned on sophomore Kaleb Wesson for the majority of the scoring down the stretch and he came up big as he led the team in scoring with 15 points.
Trying to make it close towards the end, Cincinnati junior Jarron Cumberland dropped 22 second half points to try to get his team back in it. The Bearcats were able to get the lead down to four inside the final minute thanks to some missed free throws by Ohio State and timely shooting by Cumberland.
Unfortunately for Cincinnati, their last second efforts weren’t enough as they ended up falling to 0-1 by a final score of 64-56. Both offenses seemed to wake up in the second half as the Bearcats put up 38 second half points compared to 37 by the Buckeyes.
Ohio State will host Fort Wayne Sunday at 4:00 ET as they look to improve to 2-0 on the season. Cincinnati will look to rebound after an opening night loss when they take on NC Central next Tuesday at home.