Ohio State powers past Towson 16-6 in first NCAA appearance since 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Paced by six points from Logan Schuss and five by Jesse King, third-seeded Ohio State downed Towson 16-6 in the first round of NCAA tournament on Sunday in front of 2,358 fans at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes (13-3) advanced to face Cornell in the quarterfinals on Saturday at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
Ohio State moved its winning streak to seven and is now 13-3 on the year. Towson ended its season with a 10-8 record. The Buckeyes are competing in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008 and will play in the quarterfinals for the first time since that campaign.
The Buckeyes trailed early (2-1) versus Towson, but they outscored the Tigers 7-2 before halftime to head into the locker room with an 8-4 lead after the opening 30 minutes. The Buckeyes scored four goals, while limiting Towson to one tally in both the third and fourth quarters en route to the win.
Against Towson, Schuss had three goals and three assists, while King had four goals and a helper. Senior Dominique Alexander (1g, 3a), sophomore David Planning (2g, 2a) and freshman Carter Brown (3g, 1a) all had four points in the win. In all, nine Buckeyes had at least one point. Senior Trey Wilkes won 18-of-23 faceoffs, part of a 19-for-24 day from the Buckeyes, and had a team-best seven groundballs, followed by junior Michael Italiano with six. Ten Buckeyes had two groundballs against Towson.
Towson led 2-1 in the first quarter, opening the scoring at 14:13. Schuss tied the game at one at 9:16 but a Towson goal from Andrew Hodgson with 5:37 left put the Tigers back ahead. Ohio State then scored the next four goals to take the lead, with three in the final 1:45 of the first quarter. Schuss set up King at 1:45 and then found Brown with 29 seconds left for Ohio State’s first lead of the game (3-2). King scored, assisted by Alexander, as time expired in the quarter for a 4-2 Buckeye advantage.
The Buckeyes led 8-4 at halftime. Alexander found King for a goal 51 seconds into the second quarter. Towson’s Hodgson stopped the Buckeye run with a goal at 13:31, but the Buckeyes scored three of the final four goals of the quarter, as King (at 11:32) and Alexander (at 5:40) scored unassisted and Brown set up Turner Evans with 35 seconds left in the half.
Ohio State scored the first three goals of the third quarter to extend the advantage to 11-4. Planning found Schuss at 13:24 and King connected with Brown on a man-up goal at 6:49. Planning assisted on Schuss’ third goal of the game with 5:05 left in the third stanza. Towson ended Ohio State’s second four-goal run of the day with a goal with 2:52 remaining, but Alexander set up King with four seconds remaining for Ohio State’s third goal of the game in the final minute of a quarter.
The Buckeyes tallied the first three goals of the fourth quarter, part of a third four-goal run, to take a 10-goal lead (15-5). Schuss assisted on a goal from senior Nick Liddil at 12:32 and Evans set up Brown at 11:20. Alexander and Planning combined for a goal with 8:23 left. Towson found the back of the net with 5:26 left for a 15-6 game. With one minute remaining, Ohio State senior Mark Crawford assisted on a goal from freshman Kacy Kapinos with Ohio State a man up, marking the first point for Crawford in his Buckeye career and the first tally for Kapinos as a Buckeye.
The Buckeyes dominated the game in every statistical category, coming out on top in shots (40-23), groundballs (34-23) and faceoffs (19-5). Ohio State’s Greg Dutton made seven saves in 57:21 of action, allowing six goals, with junior Scott Spencer not facing a shot in the final 2:39. Wilkes won 18 of 23 faceoffs, matching his career high for faceoff wins in a game. He has won 169 of 289 (.585) on the year.
Schuss moved his Ohio State career goals record to 145 and is second in Buckeye history with 234 points, with at least one point in all 61 collegiate games. He leads the Buckeyes with 43 goals, 26 assists and 69 points, the eighth-highest single-season total in program history. In the Buckeyes’ three postseason games, Schuss, the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, has 15 points.
King is second for the Buckeyes with 30 goals, 22 assists and 52 points. He has 10 goals and 16 points in the Buckeyes’ three postseason games, with five or more points in each game. His four goals versus Towson matched his career high, set against Loyola (Md.) in the ECAC semifinals.
During its seven-game winning streak, Ohio State is averaging 13.71 goals a game, allowing 8.29 a game. The Buckeyes are now 11-0 this season when scoring 10 or more goals. The squad has outscored opponents 98-53 in the second half this year.