Hoops Preview: Buckeyes Invite Towson To Town

The No. 21 Buckeyes (6-2, 1-0) host Towson (6-3) Wednesday evening at 9:00 pm on ESPNU. Towson comes into this game following an impressive 73-58 win at Kent State on Monday. Ohio State last played Sunday, winning their Big Ten opener at Penn State 76-64. This is one of four remaining non-conference games for the Buckeyes.

Opening Tip

Who: Towson at Ohio State
What: Men’s Basketball
Where: Value City Arena – Columbus, Ohio
When: Wednesday, 9:00 pm (ESPNU)
Why: Because EJ Liddell didn’t come back for nothin’.
Line: Ohio State -15, O/U 136.5

The Buckeyes

Buckeye Game Notes

  • Ohio State returns home to take on a talented Towson squad on Wednesday at Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center. This will be the third all-time meeting between the two programs. The Buckeyes won the first meeting in the opening round of the 1991 NCAA Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, and then won the 2004-05 season-opener at Value City Arena. Towson is on a two-game Ohio swing as the Tigers won 73-58 on Monday night at Kent State. Nicolas Timberlake led the Tigers with 22 points and nine rebounds. He is one of three players averaging in double-figures at 13.6 ppg. Cameron Holden paces the team at 16.0 ppg and 10.4 rpg.
  • E.J. Liddell has been in double-figures in every game and has posted four 20-point games this season. He leads the team and is third in the conference in scoring at 20.4 points per game. Liddell is also in the Top 10 in the country in free throws attempted with 60 entering the week. Jamari Wheeler has 33 assists and just 10 turnovers on the season for a 3.30 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is third-best in the conference
  • The Buckeyes are fourth in the conference in three-pointers per game at 8.8 and are second in three-point percentage, connecting on almost 39 percent from long range. Justin Ahrens leads the team with 19 makes from long range and he has made multiple threes in all but one game this season. In fact, the Buckeyes are 20-3 when Ahrens makes three or more three-pointers in a game. Kyle Young worked hard on his three-pointing in the off season, and it has shown thus far. He was a career-best 4-of-4 from long range in the win over Penn State last Sunday and led the team with 16 points. Young is shooting over 46 percent from beyond the arc so far this season.

The Towson Tigers

What You Need To Know

  • This is Towson’s first game against a top-25 opponent this season and first since playing #4 Virginia on Nov. 25, 2020 in the Mohegan Sun “Bubbleville.” Towson is 0-10 against ranked opponents under head coach Pat Skerry, with three of those games occurring during the 2011-12 campaign.
  • Through the first nine games, Towson stands with the top scoring defense among CAA programs, allowing 62.6 points per game. Towson has allowed 63 points or fewer in seven of its first nine games, including six of the previous seven. Towson also leads the CAA in field goal % defense at 38.4% and is second in three-point field goal % defense at 29.9%. The Tigers also have the top rebounding margin in the CAA at +8.9. Before the 2020-21 season, Towson finished the year having led the league in rebounding margin the previous seven seasons, finishing third at +2.2 last year.
  • Towson has five players who have come to Towson from other NCAA Division I programs.
    –#0 Antonio Rizzuto, transfer from UAlbany (2018-21)
    –#1 Terry Nolan Jr., transfer from Bradley (2019-21) and GW (2017-19)
    –#12 Juwan Gray, transfer from San Diego (2016-18)
    –#13 Chase Paar, transfer from GW (2019-21)
    –#55 Cam Holden, transfer from UT Martin (2020-21)
  • Three of Towson’s incoming transfers earned a league award with their respective teams last season. Cam Holden was the second-ever UT Martin player to earn allleague honors, being Second Team All-OVC with 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds a contest. Antonio Rizzuto was Second Team All-America East last year at U Albany with 12.5 points a game in 2020-21. Terry Nolan Jr. picked up an MVC Scholar-Athlete Team selection with 11.2 points and 3.3 assists a game last year.
  • Pat Skerry earned his 150th victory as head coach of the Tigers on Nov. 23, 2021 with Towson’s 76-61 win over Penn. Currently, Skerry has amassed 153 victories at Towson, including six years of at least 18 wins since the 2012-13 season. Skerry is the third Towson men’s basketball head coach with at least 150 wins. Vince Angotti won 229 games as Towson’s head coach from 1966-83 while Terry Truax notched 202 wins with the Tigers from 1983-97. Skerry is also the third longest-tenured coach in Towson history.

[Header photo courtesy of the Ohio State Dept. of Athletics.]