Ohio State coach Matta eyes complete effort to topple Rhode Island

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

CT, United States (4E Sports) – Ohio State Buckeyes will play winless Rhode Island on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

This is part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic.

The winner will face either either Washington (1-1) or Seton Hall (2-0) on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Coach Thad Matta wants the Buckeyes to exhibit defensive awareness, offensive execution, second efforts on both ends of the floor and gang rebounding.

It will likely keep using its eight- or nine-man rotation as well.

The fourth-ranked Buckeyes started the season on Sunday against the Albany Great Danes at home. They trailed by a point late in the first half, before orchestrating a 17-2 run. The Buckeyes won 82-60.

The Buckeyes shot 57.1 percent, including 12 of 20 from 3-point range. Aaron Craft scored a career-high 20 points with seven assists while preseason All-American Deshaun Thomas scored 13 of his 19 during what proved to be the game-changing run.

Rhode Island shot 31.3 percent while losing its first two games under first-year coach Dan Hurley. The Rams missed all but one of their 21 3-point attempts during a 69-50 loss at Virginia Tech on Monday.

Forward Nikola Malesevic and guard Xavier Munford are averaging 16.0 points apiece for the Rams, who have lost 23 straight games against Top 25 opponents dating to a 70-63 victory over No. 21 Utah on Dec. 2, 1998.

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