Is it just me or did that feel more like a summer league game as opposed to a tournament game?
Regardless, Ohio State took advantage of the Bulldogs' sloppy play and their own hot shooting advancing to the 2nd round of the NIT with a 84-66 romp over UNC-Asheville.
The victory moved OSU to 20-13 giving Thad his 8th straight 20+ win season.
The Buckeyes shot a blistering 56% from the floor and 47% from distance hitting 10 triples in 21 tries. Jamar Butler did most of the damage beyond the arc hitting 5/10 en route to a 21 point, 10 assist night with Othello Hunter adding 16 points on 8/10 shooting.
Kosta Koufos also had the hot hand netting 15 points on 7/12 shooting while David Lighty added 13 points.
Butler, Koufos, Hunter and Lighty combined to shoot 28/47 (60%).
All of Lighty's 13 points came in the first 10 minutes of the game with his last 5 capping a 10-0 run giving OSU a 27-15 lead with 10:06 to play. Although the Bulldogs were an inferior opponent it was nice to see Lighty actually look comfortable and in control.
To their credit, UNC responded with a 12-2 run of their own cutting the lead to 29-27 with 6:40 remaining before the Buckeyes closed with a 14-5 spurt to take a 45-35 lead into the locker room.
The opening half saw OSU score 22 points off 16 NC-Asheville turnovers but the Bulldogs shot 61% including 5/10 from deep to stay in the game.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 53-46 at the 14:36 mark on a dunk by handsome Kenny George but would get no closer as Butler led a 12-4 run with 7 straight points boosting the lead to 65-50 with 10:36 left.
Vaudeville Kenny showed off his flat footed dunk skills scoring 12 points (6/7 FG) to go along with 11 boards and Reid Augst added 20 points and 8 rebounds in a losing effort.
The Buckeyes await the winner of the Cal / New Mexico tilt scheduled for Wednesday at 11pm. Ohio State will play the winner in St. John Arena on Monday.