Ohio State will take a brief interlude from Big Ten play and look to extend its six-game winning streak against visiting Miami (OH) on Wednesday night in Columbus.
The Buckeyes (7-1) defeated Minnesota 84-74 on Sunday in their conference opener. After playing the RedHawks (4-3), they will return to league action Saturday at Penn State before playing their final three nonconference games to finish December.
"They're going to be tough, well-prepared, well-coached, ready to come in," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said of Miami on his radio show Monday. "They're coming off a win at Marshall. Any time you're going into a game that's between two Big Ten games, the maturity of your group is going to say a lot. It's going to be tested in a lot of ways."
The Buckeyes took care of Minnesota on the strength of 26 points from Bruce Thornton, 25 from Jamison Battle and Roddy Gayle Jr.'s 16. The trio combined to shoot 20-of-32 (62.5 percent) from the floor.
Despite those lofty numbers, Battle insists the Buckeyes have a balanced attack.
"To say us three are the scorers, yeah, you could say that, but when we really look at it everyone contributes in their own way on this team," Battle said. "That's what's so special about it. You trust in every person on this team. To say that only three people are those guys, you can say that, but I don't think any of us believe that."
The young RedHawks have depth as well. Mekhi Cooper scored a career-high 17 points in Saturday's 79-74 defeat of Marshall for a fourth win in five games. Evan Ipsaro (16), Bradley Dean (14) and Darweshi Hunter (11) also scored in double figures.
Miami has seven freshmen, including the second- and third-leading scorers in Ipsaro (9.1 average) and Cooper (8.9). Coach Travis Steele also has three sophomores.
"We're one of the youngest teams in college basketball right now," Steele said. "We've gotten better, shown some growth. We're starting to take care of the ball a hair better, which has been an Achilles heel for us all year."
--Field Level Media
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