Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oden records double-double as No. 1 OSU rolls

Greg Oden grabbed the ball off the backboard, slammed it through the net and screamed. It was the kind of athletic, powerful play that's come to symbolize the Ohio State freshman's considerable talent.

Too bad it didn't count.

A Central Connecticut foul before the shot wiped out the dunk, one of the few times Oden and the top-seeded Buckeyes were stopped during their 78-57 win over the Blue Devils on Thursday in the opening round of the South Regional.

Oden finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season as the Buckeyes (31-3) won their 18th straight game.

"The big thing was to just take my chances when I got it," Oden said. "I'm trying to play stronger. It's going to help me a lot in the long run."

CCSU forward Obie Nwadike, who was giving away eight inches to the 7-foot Oden, said Oden's talent surpassed the hype surrounding the Big Ten freshman of the year.

"He's a lot bigger, a lot more athletic and a lot more agile than I thought he would be," Nwadike said. "He changes a lot of shots. He makes a big impact even when he doesn't have the ball because you have to find him."

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