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Leighty leads OSU by Vikings

COLUMBUS — David Lighty scored a career-high 30 points against his hometown team, leading No. 17 Ohio State past Cleveland State 72-59 on Tuesday night.

Lighty, a junior picking up the slack for the injured Evan Turner, scored 22 points in the second half as the Buckeyes (10-2) pulled away in their final game before opening Big Ten play at Wisconsin on Dec. 31.

William Buford added 13 points and Dallas Lauderdale had 12 for the Buckeyes, who won their third in a row.

Jeremy Montgomery had a career-best 23 points for Cleveland State (4-9), which has lost eight of its last nine. Norris Cole, the Vikings’ leading scorer at 17 points a game, did not score, missing all 10 of his shots from the field. He had six turnovers and one assist.

With Ohio State leading 40-36 7 minutes into the second half, Lighty scored the next 10 points and 15 of the next 16 for the Buckeyes as they went ahead 56-42.

Cleveland State never got closer than 10 points.

The Vikings could not recreate the late magic from their last game, in which they rallied from a 17-point deficit against No. 6 West Virginia to tie the game late. Da’Sean Butler’s layup with 1.2 seconds left gave the Mountaineers an 80-78 win.

The Buckeyes, who came into the game third in the nation in field goal percentage at 52.6, shot 48 percent from the field and hit half of their 14 3-point attempts.

The teams both had 31 rebounds and 16 turnovers.

Each team suffered through a lengthy cold spell in the opening half, with Ohio State taking an eight-point halftime lead.

The Buckeyes have won seven of the eight meetings between the schools.

Ohio State lost Turner when he fell while dunking in a game on Dec. 5, breaking two bones in his lower back. He was leading the Buckeyes in scoring (18.5), rebounding (11.4) and assists (6.0). Doctors said he would likely be out 8 weeks, which would sideline him until mid-February, although he has said he hopes to return a month earlier than that.