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OSU escapes Coastal Carolina

The Associated Press

Maybe it was the way Coastal Carolina played or because the Buckeyes were looking ahead to Thursday night’s game against No.

Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Maybe it was the way Coastal Carolina played or because the Buckeyes were looking ahead to Thursday night’s game against No. 8 Kansas, but Ohio State needed a lopsided advantage on the boards and at the line to grab an 83-75 victory Monday night.

”I don’t think this had anything to do with Kansas,” guard Scoonie Penn said. ”We didn’t talk anything about Kansas.”

But Brian Brown – who scored 15 of his career-high 18 points in the second half – said the Buckeyes (4-1) might have been focusing on the wrong team.

”We wanted to get this game out of the way,” he said. ”Now we can worry about Kansas.”

Hitting an arena-record 14 3-pointers in 30 attempts, Coastal Carolina (1-6) kept the heat on the Buckeyes throughout.

”When a team like that gets it going, it puts you behind the eight-ball,” Ohio State coach Jim O’Brien said.

He blamed media carping about the Buckeyes’ weak schedule – they have yet to play a team with a winning record – for causing many of his team’s problems.

”There’s a pride factor. Some guys get tired of being called cupcakes, that they’re nothing but cannon fodder for us,” O’Brien said. ”Don’t think that doesn’t go up on blackboards. That all factors in. I know I get tired of reading about that.”

Coastal Carolina prevented Ohio State’s guards from slashing to the basket and was content to foul the Buckeyes when they got close. The Buckeyes hit 29-of-37 free throws to the Chanticleers’ 9 of 10.

Brown, who shot 52 percent from the foul line last year as a freshman, hit all 10 of his free throw attempts in the second half.

”I concentrated tonight,” he said. ”After I hit the first couple, I gained a lot of confidence.”

Penn led the Buckeyes with 21 points and Michael Redd had 16, but the Buckeyes’ guard tandem combined to hit just 13-of-35 shots from the field. George Reese added 13 points.

Ohio native Matt Gladieux scored 27 points for Coastal Carolina. Todd Shannon added 18 points – hitting 6-of-8 3-pointers – and Steve Miles had 14.

Coastal Carolina lost its fourth in a row. Ohio State, which had won its last three games against Vermont, Duquesne and Florida A&M by an average of 36 points, did not have it easy this time.

Coastal Carolina led 36-35 at the half. Gladieux’s 3-pointer with 9:50 left tied it at 51, but Ohio State took the lead for good on a pair of Penn free throws, two more by Brown and an outside jumper by Penn.

The Chanticleers pulled to within 57-56 on Gladieux’s two foul shots with 6:59 left. But Ohio State ran off the next six points – including a Brown 3-pointer and two foul shots – to push the lead to 63-56.

”I just tried to shoot the open shot,” Brown said. ”If I’m open, I’m going to take it.”

The Chants never got closer than four points.

The crowd of 16,344 observed a moment of silence before the game in memory of the mother of Coastal Carolina coach Pete Strickland. Rita Strickland died Saturday in Boston and the Chanticleer coach was with his family.

”I know Ohio State was looking ahead to Kansas,” Coastal Carolina acting coach Baker Neal said, ”but we have to feel good.”