Ohio State couldn't lose to Rutgers twice in one season.
|OHIO STATE (14-7)||37||39||76|
Three weeks ago, the Scarlet Knights beat the Buckeyes 64-61 by using length and physicality to bother them. Ohio State avenged one of its six January losses on Saturday by pulling out to a double-digit lead in the first half and extending that in the second half to beat Rutgers, 76-62, at the Schottenstein Center.
The first half belonged to Kaleb Wesson, and C.J. Jackson put together one of his best performances of the season in the second half.
Wesson did whatever he wanted offensively in the first half, scoring 21 points in the opening 20 minutes by hitting 8-of-9 shots, including all three 3-point attempts. In just the first half, he scored more points than he had in all but three games in his career. He also didn't commit a foul in 18 first-half minutes. He finished the game with 27 points and four rebounds in a career-high 37 minutes. He added a career-high five assists.
|27-51 (52.9%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||24-55 (43.6%)|
|13-28 (46.4%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||6-19 (31.6%)|
|9-13 (69.2%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||8-17 (47.1%)|
Jackson scored just three points in the first half, hitting a 3-pointer. But he led both teams with 17 second-half points, hitting 8-of-14 shots in the latter 20 minutes. Jackson had 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
In their loss to Rutgers on Jan. 9, the Buckeyes turned the ball over 11 times in just the first half. But Ohio State didn't have a single turnover in the first half on Saturday, and turned the ball over just six times in the second half.
Ohio State hit 53 percent of its shots against a stout, lanky Rutgers defense, while the Scarlet Knights shot 44 percent from the field. The Buckeyes also went 13-of-28 from 3-point range.
Rutgers dominated the glass, holding a 36-25 advantage in rebounds. The Scarlet Knights had 14 offensive rebounds.
Even so, Ohio State won, and now the Buckeyes will look to earn a second straight win when they host Penn State on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.