Ohio State needed a play. Chris Holtmann made a change to his starting lineup due to players being late to game-day preparations, and the Buckeyes responded by effectively sleep-walking through the first half. They allowed Samford to hit 50 percent of its shots in the opening half, while making just 37.5 percent of their own shots.
Finally, after trailing at halftime for the first time this season, Ohio State found that energizing play. C.J. Jackson sprinted toward the sidelines for a loose ball and leapt clear over the front row, saving the ball underhand. Luther Muhammad lunged to save it further, starting the fast break, which Andre Wesson capped off with a 3-pointer that cut Samford's lead to one point with 16:31 remaining in the game.
|OHIO STATE (5-0)||29||39||68|
The play ignited a second-half rally and led to a 19-3 run for the Buckeyes, which allowed them to pull away from the Bulldogs for a 68-50 win Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center. Six Ohio State players scored during the run, and two players scored double-digit points. The Buckeyes ended the game on a 12-2 run and out-scored Samford, 39-18, in the second half.
|23-52 (44.2%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||21-57 (36.8%)|
|3-20 (15.0%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||4-15 (26.7%)|
|19-28 (67.9%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||4-5 (80.0%)|
Samford cut Ohio State's lead to eight points with 5:17 remaining, but the game never got any closer than that. The Buckeyes held the Bulldogs to just 24 percent shooting in the second half while hitting 50 percent of their own shots.
Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 19 points, hitting 9-of-12 free throws. Keyshawn Woods added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. C.J. Jackson struggled with his shot, hitting just 2-of-11 attempts, but grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Both teams struggling from beyond the arc with each hitting less than 30 percent of their 3-point attempts.
Ruben Guerrero, Samford's 7-foot center who entered the game averaging 17 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, picked up two early fouls and played just nine minutes in the first half. Myron Gordon, who entered the game averaging 11.4 points, more than made up for his absence, though, scoring 16 points in 14 minutes in the first half. Gordon scored just two points in the second half.
Holtmann opted to alter his usual starting lineup of C.J. Jackson, Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kyle Young and Kyle Wesson for the first time this season. Keyshawn Woods, Duane Washington Jr., Musa Jallow and Jaedon LeDee started along with Jackson. An Ohio State spokesman said the change was made due to players being late to game-day preparation.