Ohio State ended its two-game losing skid with authority on Tuesday night, defeating Rutgers, 79-52, to get back in the win column in its final home game of the season.
On a night where Jae'Sean Tate, Keita Bates-Diop, Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich were honored for their contributions to the program, C.J. Jackson led the Buckeyes with 18 points while Kaleb Wesson scored 14 points and Williams scored 13 to lead the way to a dominant victory.
|#16 OHIO STATE||32||47||79|
Ohio State started all four of its Senior Night honorees on Tuesday, as Williams started for the first time in six games and Dakich started for the first time in his career. Freshman center Kaleb Wesson was the only non-senior or graduate to start the game for the Buckeyes, as regular starting point guard C.J. Jackson and Andre Wesson, who has been starting in place of Williams, began the game on the bench.
The Buckeyes led the game by as many as 19 points in the first half, as Ohio State went on an 11-0 run to take a 30-11 lead with less than six minutes to play before the break. Rutgers finished the half on a 16-2 run, however – with Kaleb Wesson in the locker room with an apparent ankle injury for most of that run – which cut the Buckeyes' lead to five, 32-27, at halftime.
|33-56 (58.9%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||22-54 (40.7%)|
|9-23 (39.1%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||2-12 (16.7%)|
|4-6 (66.7%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||6-12 (50.0%)|
With Wesson back on the floor for the start of the second half, however, Ohio State promptly began the half on an 18-2 run to pull away from the Scarlet Knights, giving the Buckeyes a 21-point lead that ballooned to 27 before the game was over.
Williams provided a huge offensive spark for the Buckeyes early, scoring 11 points in the same amount of time it took Rutgers to score that many, but it was Jackson who took over for the Buckeyes in the second half, scoring all but two of his 18 points after the break.
Bates-Diop, Ohio State's leading scorer for the season, continued his uncharacteristically rough stretch of games offensively, scoring a season-low six points on 3-of-11 shooting. Tate finished his final home game with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds, while Dakich scored the Buckeyes' first field goal of the game for his only two points of the contest.
Ohio State finished the game with a total of 11 scorers as Andre Wesson (five), Musa Jallow (four), Joey Lane (three), Matt Lehmann (three) and Micah Potter (two) also put the ball through the net.
The No. 16-ranked Buckeyes, who now hold a 23-7 overall record and a 14-3 record in Big Ten play, will look to finish their regular season with a road win on Friday at 8 p.m., when they face Indiana in a game that will be televised on FS1.