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Hoops & Scoops | Starters struggling in last two games

The Columbus Dispatch — Adam Jardy The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

Feb. 16--After catching up on some stats from Ohio State's last two games, here are a few notes:

*Against Maryland, a seldom-used lineup was Ohio State's best. The group consisting of C.J. Jackson, Marc Loving, Micah Potter, Jae'Sean Tate and Kam Williams outscored the Terrapins 30-20 in 12 minutes and 30 seconds of playing time. Entering the game, that group had appeared together in only three other games, totaling 8 minutes and 41 seconds while being outscored 25-10.

*The starters, meanwhile, only played 7 minutes and 50 seconds together and were outscored 16-9. It was the fewest minutes for a starting group since Loving, Lyle, Potter, Tate and Williams totaled only 6 minutes and 17 seconds in the first game against Maryland while being outscored 17-11.

*Lyle's absence meant the Buckeyes used three new lineups against Maryland. They were:

Loving, Potter, Tate, Trevor Thompson and Williams -- outscored 7-4 in 2 minutes, 41 seconds

Loving, Potter, Tate, Andre Wesson and Williams -- outscored 3-2 in 1 minute, 21 seconds

Dave Bell, Jackson, Loving, Wesson and Williams -- outscored 2-0 in 35 seconds

*Against Michigan State, Ohio State's primary starting lineup this season -- Loving, Lyle, Tate, Thompson and Williams -- first saw the court with 11:34 to play in the first half. Wesson replaced Tate 1 minute and 47 seconds later after the lineup allowed and scored two points.

That same group was on the court for most of the final six minutes. Trailing 64-53 with 5:53 to play, those five stayed together until 52 seconds remained and the lead had been trimmed by four points, 71-64.

*With Loving, Lyle, Thompson, Wesson and Williams on the court, the Buckeyes cut a 7-point deficit to three in 1 minute and 7 seconds, but Thompson picked up his second foul with 8:40 to play and had to sit.

*When Potter replaced Thompson, Ohio State took its only lead of the game with a 7-2 run that ended with 6:37 left in the half when Jackson subbed in for Lyle.

*Lineups for these two games were disheveled for two reasons: Lyle's absence and a high fouling rate for the Buckeyes. Keeping that in mind, Ohio State's starters didn't do much as a unit against the Terrapins and Spartans.

In the last two games, the starters have been outscored 29-15 (minus-14) in a combined 14 minutes and 58 seconds. Since Jackson replaced Lyle in the starting lineup, that group has been outscored 83-73. Those numbers are buoyed slightly by the Rutgers game, when the group scored 39 points but still allowed 31.

It's the first time all season that the same starting lineup has been outscored in consecutive games.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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