No. 23 Ohio State will look to remain unbeaten when it visits Notre Dame on Tuesday night at South Bend, Ind., for its first road game of the season.
Ohio State is 3-0 to start the campaign with nonconference victories against Illinois State, Massachusetts-Lowell and Morehead State. The Buckeyes are coming off a 33-point win in which they limited Morehead State to just 17 points in the second half.
“This was a definite improvement from the other night,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said in reference to the previous 10-point win over Massachusetts-Lowell. “We played more connected on both ends of the floor. This is a good win, and most importantly we saw a lot of improvement.”
Now comes Ohio State’s toughest test of the early going. It will match up against Notre Dame (1-1), which lost by 10 points to then-No. 13 Michigan State and won by eight points against Detroit Mercy.
Nate Laszewski scored a team-high 16 points to help Notre Dame secure its first win Sunday. He played most of the game despite committing two fouls in the first five-plus minutes.
“That’s how far he’s come as a veteran guy,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “We’re going to play guys with two fouls. He gave us a great punch. He continues to get more confident.”
Ohio State will lean on a balanced scoring attack that features four players averaging in double figures. Justice Sueing leads the team with 15 points per game, while Duane Washington Jr. (14.7), E.J. Liddell (14.3) and CJ Walker (11.3) are not far behind.
On the glass, Kyle Young leads the Buckeyes with 8.3 boards per game. Liddell (6.0 rebounds per game) and Sueing (5.7) rank second and third on the team, respectively.
Notre Dame also has four players averaging in double digits: Prentiss Hubb (23 points per game), Cormac Ryan (13), Laszewski (12) and Dane Goodwin (12). Laszewski is the team’s top rebounder with nine boards per game, while Goodwin is averaging eight and Hubb is averaging six.
Ohio State is shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from beyond the arc. Notre Dame is shooting 35 percent overall but slightly higher — 38.1 percent — from 3-point range.
The Fighting Irish could be shorthanded for the second game in a row. Nik Djogo missed Sunday’s game as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle that happened against Michigan State, and Brey said it was likely that Djogo would remain out Tuesday against the Buckeyes.
Robby Carmody (knee) and Elijah Taylor (ankle) also missed Notre Dame’s most recent game, leaving the Fighting Irish with an eight-man roster that included two freshmen and a walk-on player.
Brey has praised his top players, including Hubb, for leading the way during an unpredictable season.
“It’s Prentiss’ team,” Brey said after the Michigan State game. “He really does set a tone for us. He’s talking about, ‘Keep competing, keep battling.’ I appreciate his leadership.”
–Field Level Media