No. 10 Ohio State seeks fast start vs. Purdue Fort Wayne

The Associated Press

Purdue Fort Wayne better be ready from the opening tip Friday, or there's a good chance the Mastodons will be run off the court by No. 10 Ohio State before some fans find their seats in Columbus.

The Buckeyes (4-0) didn't start well the first two games against Cincinnati and Massachusetts Lowell but more than made up for it in their past two outings.

Ohio State raced to an 18-3 lead against then-No. 10 Villanova for a 76-51 win on Nov. 13, then ripped off a 20-0 run against Stetson on Monday to go up 28-3 during an 86-51 result that wasn't that close.

There is a comparative score between these schools, as Purdue Fort Wayne (2-4) also defeated Stetson 79-55 on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Mastodons, they were unable to carry that momentum into Tuesday's 75-68 loss at Kent State.

Although sophomore Jarred Godfrey had only 11 points against the Golden Flashes, the 6-foot-5 guard continues to shine for the Mastodons.

He leads the team with a 15.5 scoring average and is hitting 50 percent (31 of 62) from the floor. He is also averaging 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

"He's done a really good job of setting the offense early and getting penetration, and I like that," Purdue Fort Wayne coach Jon Coffman said. "He's very coachable. I have a great connection with him. He wants to get better and wants to be coached, and that's why he's had a great transition from year one to two. I knew he had it in him coming off of last year."

The Mastodons are averaging 77.8 points but haven't played a team like Ohio State, which held Stetson to 14 first-half points. The Buckeyes are allowing 53.5 points per game and winning by an average margin of 22.

"We're working on our defense, our offense. Just working on stuff every day," Ohio State forward Kyle Young said. "Our defensive intensity, we want to keep that up all game, and we want to try to play like that for 40 minutes.

"This is something that coaches every day are on us preparing the same way, playing hard every day. That's something that we're becoming more used to. It's definitely tough to play hard all 40, but that's what we're trying to do."

The Mastodons will challenge the Buckeyes with their long-range shooting. They've attempted 159 3-pointers (Ohio State has attempted 82) and have made 60 for 37.7 percent.

Blowouts in three of the first four games allowed Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann the opportunity to use his bench.

"You're looking at rotations," Holtmann said. "You're being mindful of not showing too much offensively. At the same time, trying to work on some of your execution stuff. As a coach, you very rarely feel like the game's in hand, but once you do feel like it's in hand, you don't want to show too much."

--Field Level Media

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