COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State takes on Providence early in the 2016-17 college basketball season at Value City Arena. Follow along on our live blog for updates, scores, stats and more.
The Buckeyes enter Thursday night’s game 2-0 with wins over Navy and North Carolina Central. They’re a 7-point favorite in this game against the Friars. It’s set to tip at 7 p.m. ET and will be shown on the Big Ten Network.
Ohio State vs. Providence basketball live blog, updates
Ohio State will take part in Military Appreciation Night when it hosts Providence at Value City Arena.
Ohio State 0, Providence 0 (18:43) — Freshman Micah Potter exits after two quick fouls. He also traveled on the team’s first possession. Not a great start, to say the least.
Ohio State 10, Providence 4 (14:44) — Sophomore point guard JaQuan Lyle struggled in the Buckeyes’ first two games. Not so tonight. He has seven points and is showing the initiative and creativity he needs.
Ohio State 14, Providence 11 (11:50) — There’s been lots of back and forth action so far. The Buckeyes are controlling points in the paint (10-4) and are also shooting better (43 percent to 36 percent).
Ohio State 22, Providence 17 (6:50) — OSU is so good in transition and so bad at the free-throw line. The Buckeyes give away so many points at the charity stripe.
OSU 32, Providence 23 (2:52) — The good version of JaQuan Lyle showed up tonight. He’s scored 13 points and looks sharp from 3-point range.
OSU 38, Providence 28 (Halftime) — What a great end to the half for the Buckeyes. They shot 55 percent (17 of 31) in the first half and looked great on offense. We’ll see if they can keep it up going forward.
OSU 40, Providence 36 (17:30) — Nervy moment here at Value City Arena as Providence cuts the deficit to four. The Friars have exploded out of the gate in the second half.
OSU 48, Providence 40 (14:00) — Ohio State has regained control here. Lyle just connected with David Bell for a thunderous alley-oop.
OSU 50, Providence 44 (11:38) — Providence playing well enough to hang in here. I don’t think Ohio State wants to be in a free-throw shooting contest at the end, so the Buckeyes need to build a lead here.
OSU 59, Providence 49 (7:50) — Kam Williams just hit a 3-pointer to boost Ohio State’s lead back to 10 points. Value City Arena’s crowd — such as it is — is exciting.
OSU 63, Providence 61 (3:37) — Just like that, the lead has nearly vanished. Stressful times here for Ohio State fans.
OSU 69, Providence 64 (0:44) — Good test coming for Ohio State, which will have to hit its free throws in the final minute.
OSU 72, Providence 67 (FINAL) — That’ll do it. Overall, not a bad showing from the Buckeyes.
Ohio State vs. Providence basketball keys to the game
Where is JaQuan Lyle?
The sophomore point guard needs to be a big contributor for Ohio State. Instead, he’s barely seeing the floor. Over the first two games, Lyle averaged 18 minutes and 4.0 points per contest. Meanwhile, his backup C.J. Jackson is taking advantage and stealing minutes from Lyle. So what does Lyle need to do to stay on the court? As head coach Thad Matta said after the Navy win, “Playing better is an option.”
For Ohio State to remain competitive, it can’t get into foul trouble. After losing four players to transfers after last season, the Buckeyes don’t have the depth they’d like. On the opposite end of that, OSU would do well to actually make its free throws. The Buckeyes were 14 of 21 at the free-throw line against Navy and 11 of 23 against North Carolina Central. Giving away points like that isn’t going to cut it against better competition.
One of the biggest differences between the decent showing at Navy and disappointment vs. North Carolina Central came from behind the arc. The Buckeyes made 10 of 18 3-point attempts against the Midshipmen. On Monday, however, they made just 6 of 21. Ohio State needs a better performance from deep in order to beat Providence.