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Jordan Johnson, New Orleans out to upset Ohio State


Ohio State righted itself against UCLA and hopes to carry that momentum into its home game against New Orleans on Thursday.

The Buckeyes (9-2) defeated the Bruins 67-60 in Atlanta on Saturday, a week after blowing an 18-point second half lead in an 83-80 loss at Penn State.

“Our guys were not too dismayed by a loss. They know it’s a long season and you can’t get too high or too low,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said on his weekly radio show. “You try not to make too much of wins and/or losses, particularly early in the season because it’s so much about how you’re growing and getting better, but it was a really solid win.

“We’ve had a really good start to our year. To be able to beat a tough-minded team in UCLA, it’s a really quality win. Our guys just found a way.”

New Orleans (5-6) is led by Jordan Johnson’s 23.1 points per game. He is making 37.5 percent of his 3-pointers, down from his 48.2 percent last season as a junior when he had the best 3-point percentage among Division I players.

“He’s an elite marksmen,” Privateers coach Mark Slessinger said.

Yet, Slessinger said the key to beating the Buckeyes is playing close to the basket and getting free throws.

“The foul line for us wins games,” he said.

Both teams rely on balanced scoring. Roddy Gayle Jr. had 19 points against UCLA followed by Jamison Battle’ 14 and Bruce Thornton getting 13 points and grabbing a career-high seven rebounds.

In New Orleans’ 91-51 win against Division III Birmingham-Southern on Dec. 14, Johnson netted 16 points, Turk Vincent scored 14 and had 12 rebounds while freshman Dorian Booker netted a career-high 12 points.

“We might have our deepest team,” Slessinger said. “Maybe not our highest end talent we’ve had in my 13 years but for sure our deepest team where we can put two or three guys out there at any given time depth-wise and we’re not going to have a major fall off.”

–Field Level Media

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