Buckeyes cruise past Youngstown St. 77-40

Published 2:16 am Wednesday, December 21, 2016

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio State needed a win like this, with last weekend’s loss to UCLA in the rear-view mirror and the Big Ten schedule looming.
Keita Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate and Kam Williams each scored 15 points as the Buckeyes Ohio took advantage of poor-shooting Youngstown State in a 77-40 blowout Tuesday night.
Trevor Thompson contributed a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds, and C.J. Jackson had eight points for Ohio State (9-3) in a game that was never in doubt.
“It was real fun being out there,” Williams said. “It’s one of the best feelings in the world when you get your mojo back.”
Youngstown State (6-7) shot only 21 percent from the floor and was beaten badly on the boards by the Buckeyes, who scored 48 points in the paint and shot 50 percent on the night.
Matt Donlan led Youngstown State with 10 points and six rebounds. The Horizon League team hasn’t beaten the Buckeyes in four tries.
“It was an ugly game on our part,” Youngstown State coach Jerry Slocum said. “We obviously didn’t shoot the ball very well. We’re disappointed in our effort in a team that believe it or not is pretty good offensively. We certainly didn’t help ourselves in transition defense. It was a poor performance by us.”
The Penguins were just 2 for 21 from the 3-point line while Ohio State managed five baskets in 15 attempts from beyond the arc.
Ohio State rolled out to a 12-1 lead to start the game and led 42-14 at the half. The Penguins suffered a scoring drought of more than 5 minutes in the middle of the half and shot 14.8 percent in that first frame. They hit just two of their last 18 shots to finish the half 4 for 27 from the floor.
“I wanted to play like this for once,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “We really challenged the guys Saturday after the game (with) let’s see what we’re made of. The last two days have been hard for these guys, and I’m fine with that.”
Ohio State center Micah Potter suffered a sprained ankle when he stepped on the referee’s foot on the opening tip and had to be helped off the court, with Thompson taking his place. Potter, a 6-foot-9 freshman, is averaging 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds. He’s day-to-day.
“He’s a pretty tough kid,” Matta said. “He’ll get back quick.”
Youngstown State: The cold-shooting Penguins couldn’t take advantage of Ohio State’s less-than-crisp play at times. If Tuesday night was any indication, YSU might be in for a long season.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes blew out an inferior team they were supposed to beat, but looked sloppy a lot of the time doing it. They are still a work in progress, with one more pre-conference game on the schedule.
“I feel like today we really played together,” Thompson said. “We had fun, and that was the big thing.”
Youngstown State: Returns home to open Horizon League play against Milwaukee on Dec. 29.
Ohio State: Plays Thursday night at home against UNC Asheville. After the Christmas break, the Big Ten schedule opens on New Year’s Day.

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