Ohio State was dominant on the defensive end in Sunday's game against the Scarlet Knights, holding Rutgers to just 29 percent shooting to come away with a 68-46 win in Piscataway, N.J.
Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes on both ends of the floor, scoring 20 points while pulling down nine rebounds and totaling five blocks.
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, each making only one of their first five shots, three of their first 12 shots and four of their first 15 shots from the floor. The Buckeyes had as many turnovers (four) as they did made field goals in the first 12 minutes of the game. Bates-Diop missed his first four shots of the game.
Bates-Diop and the Buckeyes, however, heated up much more quickly than Rutgers did.
Highlighted by back-to-back transition layups by Bates-Diop and Andrew Dakich off of turnovers, and by back-to-back 3-pointers by Bates-Diop, Ohio State finished the first half on a 20-6 run that gave the Buckeyes that gave Ohio State a 28-15 halftime lead, marking the first time since Feb. 1, 1997 – when the Buckeyes held Wisconsin to 11 points – that Ohio State held a Big Ten opponent to 15 points or less in a half.
Rutgers finished the first half with only six made shots on 31 attempts, and only one made 3-pointer on 10 attempts.
|27-58 (46.6%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||17-59 (28.8%)|
|7-21 (33.3%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||6-18 (33.3%)|
|7-10 (70.0%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||6-11 (54.5%)|
Ohio State started the second half the same way it ended the first half, opening play after the intermission on a 20-3 run to extend its lead to 30, with Kam Williams scoring eight of those 20 points.
Rutgers started to find its offense after that, making six out of nine shots after making just seven of its first 40, to go on a 15-4 run that cut Ohio State's lead to 52-33 with 7:58 to play. The Scarlet Knights remained competitive with the Buckeyes after that. Ultimately, however, Ohio State's control of the game was never in jeopardy, as the Buckeyes went on to win by 22.
Williams was Ohio State's second-leading scorer with 11 points, while Wesson tied Bates-Diop for the team lead with nine rebounds. C.J. Jackson, who also scored nine points and had seven rebounds, led the Buckeyes with six assists and two steals.
Ohio State is now 15-4 on the season and still undefeated (6-0) in Big Ten play, keeping the Buckeyes tied with Purdue atop the conference standings. Having won their last five games in a row, the Buckeyes should presumably seize a ranking when this week's AP Top 25 is released Monday.
The Buckeyes will look to keep their winning streak going on Wednesday, when they are set to play their second road game in a row against Northwestern, with tip-off scheduled for 9 p.m. in Rosemont, Ill. at Allstate Arena.